Minnesota’s top education official is stepping down from her position. Mary Cathryn Ricker says her resignation will be effective April 1st, with her last day in the department being March 19th. Ricker, a former teacher and union president, said she feels compelled to return to working directly with students after overseeing schools’ COVID-19 efforts. Governor Tim Walz said he is grateful for the leadership and dedication she has shown during this difficult time. Former deputy education commissioner Heather Mueller will be taking over the role.   Mueller has worked in the Mankato School District before her role in the department of education.