Duluth's New Superintendent Takes Office

By KBJR News 1

July 7, 2011 Updated Jul 7, 2011 at 9:09 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The district's new superintendent, Dr. I. V. Foster, sat down with us today to talk about how he plans to address some of the challenges, and what he's looking forward to about his position.

School may be out but for Dr. Foster says there's no down time in his new position.

"I'm going through the learning curve. Lots of meetings; Talking with a lot of people, but I am excited with the opportunities," said Dr. I.V. Foster, the new superintendent for the Duluth school district.

The new Duluth School District Superintendent was selected this past May, and now takes on some of the biggest issues facing the district.

With the long range facilities plan in its final stages five new schools will open this fall, and two more will open in the fall of 2013.

Dr. Foster knows the changes have come with controversy but says it's a positive move for the district.

"What the school district and the community has done with refurbishing and building new schools, ideas about moving to the future, providing a 21st education for all students, that is a very exciting opportunity for me," said Dr. Foster

The Duluth district plans to ask taxpayers to support a fundraising levy this fall and Dr. Foster says talking with community members is the first step.

"It requires both schools and communities to pass anything with regards to a levy, budget, new programs in schools and things of that nature, so I am reaching out to the community and trying to learn out what's important to them," said Dr. Foster.

Dr. Foster is the first African American to serve in the Duluth School District's top position, but he says he hopes that's not what he wants to be known for.

"I want to be known as the best superintendent for the Duluth public schools...who happens to be black," said Dr. Foster.

The achievement gap and declining enrollment are also set to be addressed by Dr. Foster.

Dr. Foster takes over for Superintendent Keith Dixon who is retiring from Duluth Schools but plans to take over as interim superintendent at Centennial School District in Circle Pines for one year.

Dr. Foster says he has been asked a lot about his name and what it stands for.

He says it doesn't stand for anything - some of his family members also have initials for their names.