The School Board this week approved the appointment of a new principal for Washington Elementary School, and a new associate principal for Whitman Middle School.
Thomas Hanley, who took over on an interim basis after the resignation of Anthony Bonds earlier this month, has been named principal of Washington.
John Kellerman, a sixth-grade teacher at Whitman Middle School, has been named associate principal at Whitman.
A role he loves
Hanley had been serving as coordinator of elementary curriculum for the district after more than three decades in the Milwaukee Public Schools, including 12 years as principal of Golda Meir Elementary School. In that role, he and the school were recognized for excellence in a variety of forums at the state and national level, including recognition from the U.S. Department of Education, the Herb Kohl Education Foundation, and even Milwaukee Magazine, which called Golda Meir one of the city's top seven grammar schools.
Hanley thanked the board for the appointment.
"Of all the jobs I did, I really enjoyed being a principal the most," he said. "It was the most fun and the most challenging."
He said he already has held individual meetings with the staff, and "it looks like we're on a good path for success for this year."
Anthony Bonds resigned as principal of Washington school after 10 years in the job to take an administrative position in the Sun Prairie School District.
Bonds and district administrators came under fire last year for how the school responded to bullying incidents and other problematic behavior. At a couple meetings, parents claimed the school showed more support for students who intimidated classmates, even hurt them, than for their victims. In one case, a student who brought a knife to school later was returned to the same classroom.
Ertl has insisted that Bonds left voluntarily, that his departure was unrelated to the difficulties of last year, and that the Sun Prairie job was a step up.
Change at Whitman
Whitman lost an associate principal this month with the resignation of Kyle Moore, and John Kellerman was selected from among 45 people who interviewed for the job, Ertl said.
Kellerman joined the district in 2008 after a couple years in marketing. He has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in educational leadership and administration, both from Concordia University-Wisconsin. He has taught sixth-grade social studies at Whitman and, among other duties, has coached cross country, basketball and track.
Kellerman said he was the son of a school principal, and had vowed "I would never be my father, I would never grow up to that role." But his focus has changed.
"I'm going to bring an enthusiasm and energy for student learning across the wide spectrum of students that we have," he said.
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