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UPDATED: Pewaukee Schools Official a Finalist for Elmbrook Superintendent

Mark Hansen, chief academic officer in the Pewaukee School District and former Waukesha assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, is the only finalist for job.

UPDATED (4:11 p.m.) Mark Hansen, chief academic officer in the Pewaukee School District and former Waukesha assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, is the lone finalist for the Elmbrook superintendent job.

After receiving an applicant pool of 47, the Elmbrook School Board interviewed six candidates last week and narrowed to two finalists. One of those finalists, however, then withdrew from consideration.

The district will move forward with the same process it had planned to do with two finalists. Hansen will tour two schools, meet with district staff and interview again with the School Board on Thursday.

Hansen, a former teacher who is pursuing his doctorate, also has been 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. 

Hansen is one of two leaders of a group formed last year called the Southeastern Wisconsin Teacher Evaluation Consortium that is working on creating recommendations on how to better evaluate teachers, taking into consideration performance and not just seniority.

“Mr. Hansen has an outstanding track record of educational accomplishment and leadership, and the board looks forward to continuing its analysis and vetting of his candidacy on Feb. 16,” Board President Tom Gehl said in a news release about Hansen.

Elmbrook hired a search firm, Ray & Associates of Cedar Rapids, IA, to help recruit candidates to succeed Gibson, who is retiring in June after 17 years leading the Elmbrook School District.

Board Member Meg Wartman said in a Personnel Committee meeting Monday afternoon that the second finalist had concerns about being publicly named.

One district staff member expressed concern that other than Keith Brightman, Elmbrook's assistant superintendent for finance, operations and human resources, district administrators were not in attendance during last week's School Board interviews with the six applicants.

Saying her "heart was racing" with the news of Hansen's lone position, she asked about how staff will have input in the superintendent selection. Staff, parents, community members and other stakeholders met with the search firm last fall and completed a community survey about desired superintendent traits and strengths.

Employees also will be able to talk with Hansen at the schools he tours.

Gibson said in Monday's meeting: "Just because there's one finalist doesn't mean the process is over. The same sort of due diligence that would have occurred with two finalists will occur with one."

He added: "Admittedly that person is competing with himself."

Board member Jean Lambert said she personally would be open to reconsidering after the tours, staff contacts and second board interview whether the finalist was the best candidate or more applicants should be interviewed.

"I don't see this as 'it's a done deal,'" she said.

K Minkler February 14, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Mark Hanson? Has the school board checked him out? There are issues in other school districts - Brown Deer and Waukesha.
Thomas Pire February 14, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Elmbrook should consider anyone that does not have a doctorate and they are not even able to get an applicant from the best high school in Waukesha?
Mark Johnson February 15, 2012 at 01:31 AM
A Head Hunter Company is paid a fee to do a national search. They find an inexperienced candidate in the district next door and it looks like there are problems with him in other districts. The Board of Education sure seems like they know what they are doing don't they? Read the article. Gibson expressed doubts.

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