District names new Superintendent

Astein Osei accepts district position


Emma Kempf

Outgoing superintendent Rob Metz with incoming superintendent Astein Osei at Metz’s retirement reception on May 18.

Incoming Superintendent Astein Osei was woken up at 10:30 p.m. May 10, startled by the two superintendent search firm members outside his door offering him a position as the new superintendent for St. Louis Park Public Schools.

“I jump up, literally run upstairs in like a T-shirt, basketball shorts and dress socks. And they were like, ‘Hey we’ve been calling you’ and I was like, ‘I’m so sorry I was exhausted, I fell asleep,’” Osei said.

Osei’s predecessor, superintendent Rob Metz, will continue working in education through the non-profit Building Assets, Reducing Risks program (BARR).

“I am going to be the deputy director of BARR, which is kind of like being the principal or superintendent of the company,” Metz said. “It’s a non-profit has seven or eight employees, but the employees are all over the country. It’s all virtual, there is actually no place, but they are going to be growing fast.”

Osei said he has received questions and concerns on the achievement gap and plans to focus on racial equity in the community.

“We are also dealing with the very stubborn and pesky racial achievement gap here at St. Louis Park,” Osei said. “It sounds like people are engaged in that area so it is about sustaining the working and going deep.”

Senior Sulehka Farah said she thinks students of color will view Osei as a role model within the school.

“I feel like (people of color) are getting more noticed and I feel like that’s good representation. A lot of people can look at him and say ‘I want to be like him one day’ so that’s something that’s good for people of color,” Farah said.

Osei said his career and future have been built off the communities he has been part of.

“Personally, (community) means everything. I think about who I am and where I am today ,and it wasn’t because I’m so great, or because I’m so lucky, it is because a community surrounded me and supported me to help me get to where I am and they continue to do that,” Osei said.

Metz’s term as superintendent will officially end June 30, after 19 years with St. Louis Park Public Schools.