Manatee County School District Superintendent Rick W. Mills has a diverse and distinguished background in leadership in both the military and education. He was sworn in as Superintendent in Manatee County on March 20, 2013, replacing interim Superintendent Dr. David Gayler.
Mr. Mills served as the Chief Executive Officer of Minneapolis Public Schools from July 2011, to March 2013. Prior to becoming CEO in Minneapolis, he served 10 years in Chicago Public Schools in various educational leadership positions, including two years as Chief Area Officer (Area Superintendent) for 26 High Schools and three years as Area Instructional Officer for six military academy high schools. While in Chicago, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Mr. Mills Chair of the Chicago Memorial Day Parade and Weekend from 2009 to 2011.
Prior to working with Chicago Public Schools, Mr. Mills had a notable 24-year career in the United States Army where his service assignments included: Cavalry Squadron Commander, Political-Military Officer, United States Central Command, Plans Officer, United Nations Jerusalem, Assistant Professor, United States Military Academy and Commander, 2nd Battalion 5th Cavalry. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in July 2001. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Ranger Tab and Parachutist Badge.
His educational background includes a Master´s in Business from Webster University, St Louis, Missouri, and a Master´s in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Mr. Mills is married to Jessica Romando, a teacher in Chicago Public Schools, and he has a son, Michael, who is attending college in New York.
Superintendent Mills´ 100-Day Entry Plan