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District nabs new East associate principal

Aug. 22, 2012

With unanimous approval from the Wauwatosa School Board on Aug. 13, Elizabeth Kayzar has added the role of associate principal of Wauwatosa East High School to her multitasking lifestyle.

Minutes after the approval, Kayzar and East Principal Nick Hughes were planning to hit the ground running the next day. That would not be a stretch for Kayzar, who has completed three marathons and a half-dozen triathlons.

The Wauwatosa resident's schedule also includes teaching group fitness classes at the Wisconsin Athletic Center on Watertown Plank Road and a family life with her husband, Josh, and their 6-year-old daughter, Blake.

Energy and focus

Kayzar is as energetic about education as she is about fitness and family. She has a specific philosophy about teaching.

"I believe in hands-on interaction and knowing students," she said. "Your goal is to raise student achievement so you build rapport and you get their strengths and motivate them to find what they are good at.

"Everyone's good at something," she said, "so tapping into that and inspiring them. Push them and inspire them to do their best."

Kayzar, who most recently taught elementary students, said it's nice to come back" to high school.

"You can relate to the kids, talk to them as young adults and help them become citizens and advocates and you can inspire them to give back to the community," she said. "I also want to inspire teachers and allow them to do their best."

Varied background

Kayzar did her best to spend the first part of her career in as many different educational environments as possible, specializing in language arts and literacy while also delving into technical instruction.

After earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1996, she taught elementary school to Native Americans in the Bowler School District, high school in De Pere, language arts in Wales and England as a Fulbright Scholar as an exchange teacher and most recently taught for the past 10 years in the Swallow School District in Hartland. Her administrative experience includes her stint in the United Kingdom as well as at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield.

Along the way, she earned a master's degree and administrative certification from Alverno College.

Welcome addition

Principal Hughes said he is happy to find Kayzar to replace Mike Heun, who earlier this summer moved into the role of principal of Wilson/STEM Elementary.

"We had 75 applicants and we talked to 55 by phone or in person," Hughes said. "We brought back four as finalists. The more I met with and talked to Elizabeth, the more I felt she was the top candidate. She brings a tremendous amount of energy and experience to the position. She has a clear philosophy of what makes good teaching. That impressed all of us."

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