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Elmbrook to Negotiate Superintendent Contract with Sole Finalist Hansen

The Elmbrook School Board met Thursday night in closed session with Mark Hansen, a finalist to replace Superintendent Matt Gibson.

Updated (2:18 p.m.): The Elmbrook School Board on Monday will negotiate a contract offer to hire a Pewaukee school official as Elmbrook's next superintendent.

The board conducted a second interview Thursday night with Mark Hansen, chief academic officer in the Pewaukee School District and former Waukesha assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Hansen also met Thursday with staff as he spent an hour each at Brookfield East High and Dixon Elementary schools.

The board plans to hold another closed session at 6 p.m. Monday at the district administrative offices, 13780 Hope St., to discuss "authorizing contract/salary/benefit parameters for the finalist candidate."

Board President Tom Gehl said Friday he would not comment until after Monday's closed session. 

Keith Brightman, Elmbrook's assistant superintendent for finances, operations and human resources, said Friday that if Hansen and the board can agree on a contract, "in the best of worlds we'd like to have something in place for the Board meeting Feb. 28."

He said the tours went well, with about five people meeting with Hansen at each school. Brightman said while the board has not invited greater staff and public participation in the finalist hiring process (all board meetings have been behind closed doors), the board and its search consultant considered the input on a desired superintendent that various stakeholders provided last fall.

The district hired Ray & Associates of Cedar Rapids, IA to recruit candidates to replace Superintendent Matt Gibson, who is retiring in June after 17 years. The firm, which was to be paid up to $20,900, received 47 applications. The School Board narrowed that list to six candidates whom the board interviewed last week.

The board chose two finalists from the six "by a very clear and decisive" agreement, Gehl said during Tuesday's School Board meeting. But one withdrew from consideration.

"While we were certainly disappointed with that," Gehl said, the board agreed to move forward with Hansen as the sole candidate to participate in a second finalist interview with the board Thursday evening.

The district released this statement Friday about its planned next steps:

"The Elmbrook Schools superintendent search finalist interview process was completed on February 16. Both the Board of Education and Mark Hansen have interest in continuing the process; and the Board has scheduled a closed session for Monday, February 20, to discuss next steps and contract authority.

As part of the final interview process, Mr. Hansen visited Brookfield East and Dixon Elementary. This was intended to give Mr. Hansen some additional insight into the district and to allow some unstructured dialog with school staff."

Hansen has been a teacher and school principal and is pursuing his doctorate for May 2013 completion. He previously served as principal of Waukesha South High School, assistant principal of Waukesha North High School, assistant principal of Brown Deer High School, and assistant principal of Pewaukee Middle School.

In 2006 he was named Wisconsin Principal of the Year by the Association for Wisconsin School Administrators and was a national finalist for the same award.

Libby Wistrom February 17, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Did we really have to hire outside consultants to find a candidate located one city over???
Lisa Sink (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 08:24 PM
If I remember correctly, I believe two-thirds of the 47 applicants were from out of state and one third from Wisconsin.....

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