Brett Stringer Resigns as Principal of South High School


Caleb Stipkovits

Acting Principal Stephen Simondet sits in his office. Simondet takes over for Brett Stringer, whose resignation was announced to staff members on October 24th.

Caleb Stipkovits, Editor-in-Chief

Note: This story includes writing from another Southerner article that you can read here.  Please read this article for context about Brett Stringer’s licensing issue.

Brett Stringer has resigned as Principal of South High School after working from the Davis Center (Minneapolis Public Schools Headquarters) for the last month.  Stringer had been principal since June of 2019.  Interim Principal Stephen Simondet has been named principal for the rest of the school year.

Stringer’s resignation was announced on October 24th, 2021, in an email sent to South Staff Members.  Associate Superintendent Shawn Harris-Berry wrote; “I’m writing today to share with you that after much reflection and deep concern about the best interests of the South High community, Brett Stringer has decided that he should relinquish his leadership role at South.  He is deeply committed to the school and proud of the progress you have all made together during his tenure these past two years, but the unity and stability of the community is of most concern to him.”

Before he stepped down as principal, Stringer was moved from South to the Davis Center to focus on obtaining his principal’s license. Stringer had a temporary license that expired on June 30th, 2021.  In an effort to remain principal of South, Stringer asked the Board of School Administrators (BOSA) for an extension of his temporary license.  Stringer’s case was originally discussed at BOSA’s September 27th meeting.  BOSA’s Board decided to postpone their decision, citing a lack of context around the issue.  As a result, Stringer’s case was to be settled on October 25th.  However, he resigned before BOSA could make a final decision.

The temporary license that Stringer received is called a provisional license.  Stringer, who was a licensed administrator in Colorado but not Minnesota, was granted a two-year provisional license on July 1st, 2019.  A provisional license gives candidates time to complete a BOSA-approved administrative program at schools in Minnesota, while still having the role of an administrator.  In other words, this allowed Mr. Stringer to serve as principal at South while finishing the required coursework for his license.  According to Dr. Anthony Kinkel, BOSA’s Executive Director, provisional licenses are issued to administrators with experience who are moving from other states to Minnesota. 

It was Mr. Stringer’s responsibility to inform MPS about his expired license and MPS’ responsibility to inform BOSA.  However, BOSA was informed about the expiration through a citizen complaint.  Kinkel believes this to have been an honest mistake on the part of MPS and Mr. Stringer, he feels as if it must have just slipped through the cracks.

Now fulfilling the role of acting principal, Simondet has a message for students.  “Mr. Stringer started some great work with your students and staff, and we’re going to continue that work.  School is going to go on.  I’ve been to tons of classes, kids are engaged in class, they’re learning, teachers are teaching, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

The Southerner has reached out to Brett Stringer for comment.  This article will be updated upon comment from Brett Stringer.

Khayaal Desai-Hunt did additional reporting on this article.