ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Governor Tim Walz says Minnesota Education Commissioner and longtime teacher Mary Cathryn Ricker is stepping down after two years to return to the classroom.

She will be replaced by Deputy Education Commissioner Heather Mueller.

Ricker said in her resignation letter that she feels ``the pull to spend my time and energy in classrooms working safely alongside them helping students.'' She said the
coronavirus pandemic is not impacting students and families equally and wants to
provide ``more direct service and support'' to students and teachers.

Ricker said she will share details of her next role ``in the coming months.''


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