Some of the most dramatic stories in Minnesota schools in recent years have occurred in the state's largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin. As superintendent, Dennis Carlson has seen the drama up close.
During his five years in that position, the district experienced a spate of student suicides and also a federal lawsuit over the bullying of gay and lesbian students that put Anoka-Hennepin in the national spotlight. The district was also the target of a federal investigation.
Carlson had the unenviable role of trying to represent district policy to the world at a time when critics were accusing the district of doing too little to protect and support gay and lesbian students. He had to apologize for sending a message to district families dismissing a connection between the suicides and bullying.
After decades in education, Carlson had originally planned to retire from Anoka-Hennepin in 2009 to pursue another job project. But he was called back to be interim and, later, permanent superintendent. Now he's planning to retire again, for real this time, at the end of June.
Carlson joins The Daily Circuit to discuss his plans and his legacy.