BOSTON (CBS) – Dr. Brenda Cassellius, a former commissioner of education for the state of Minnesota, has been selected as the next Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. The decision was first reported by WBZ’s Jon Keller.

The Boston School Committee selected Cassellius in a 5-2 vote Wednesday night.

Cassellius is a former classroom teacher who oversaw the Minnesota schools for nine years. BPS says Cassellius enacted comprehensive education reforms, including historic new funding for schools, enactment of all-day kindergarten, state-funded preschool for 25,000 children, and has overseen historically high graduation rates.

Brenda Cassellius (Image credit Minn. Dept of Education)

The other finalists were Marie Izquierdo of the Miami-Dade public schools, and a local entry, Oscar Santos of Boston’s Cathedral High School.

The search committee started with 150 candidates and narrowed that down to 39 before selecting the three finalists.

Public interviews, which involved students, parents and teachers, were held earlier this month.

Mayor Marty Walsh said the city is “investing in a proven leader”.

“The role of Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools is one of the most important and difficult jobs in the city,” Walsh said. “I’m pleased that the Boston School Committee selected someone with deep experience improving educational outcomes for students, and I congratulate Dr. Cassellius for her selection.”

Cassellius succeeds Tommy Chang who resigned after three years.