Menasha High principal with Kaukauna ties chosen as next superintendent

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KAUKAUNA — The Kaukauna Area School District has selected a Menasha High School administrator and the son of a veteran Kaukauna Band teacher as the district’s next superintendent.

Mike Slowinski, principal of Menasha High School, will become superintendent of KASD, effective July 1 when Mark Duerwaechter steps down after leading Kaukauna schools for 10 years and 34 years in education.

Board Chair Kathryn Breitzman said Mike Slowinski is uniquely qualified to lead the district and will continue to advance all that makes Kaukauna strong while bringing new energy and a strong desire to build relationships, according to a district press release.

“He is a proven collaborator with a strong work ethic and high integrity, values ​​highly sought after by the school community,” Breitzman said. “Most importantly, he believes that all students can succeed and he is dedicated to providing the support needed to make that happen.”


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Council Clerk Chad Berken said: “Mike brings an infectious positive energy to everything he does. His record shows a leadership style that empowers others to perform at their best. We are extremely happy to have him at KASD.

“Mike Slowinski is genuine, passionate and people-centric,” added Vice Chairman Chris Bouressa. “He is committed to building relationships with all stakeholders. I believe Mike will lead KASD with integrity, energy and strength of character.

Slowinski, whose father, Wayne Slowinski, taught the college orchestra in Kaukauna for 30 years, said he was “incredibly honored” to serve the Kaukauna community.

“Having the opportunity to lead and serve in a community that has meant so much to me and my family is truly the honor of a lifetime,” Slowinski said. “The Kaukauna Area School District has a rich history, a supportive community, and a long tradition of excellence and pride. As superintendent, I will work tirelessly to support the students, families, and staff of this great district. I am grateful for the opportunity to follow in my father’s footsteps and look forward to serving the Kaukauna Strong community for years to come.

Slowinski began her teaching career as an English teacher at West DePere High School in 2007 and won the 2008 Nancy Hoefs Outstanding First Year Teacher Award from the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English. In 2011, he was promoted to Media and Technology Coordinator for the West DePere School District Library. Four years later, Slowinski moved to the Appleton Area School District, serving as associate principal at Appleton East High School until 2018, when he became principal of Menasha High School. .

Slowinski received his Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 2007 and his Master of Arts in Education from UW-Stevens Point in 2012. He is licensed as an English teacher , Library Media Specialist, Director and Superintendent. .

Menasha Joint School District Superintendent Chris VanderHeyden supported Slowinski’s desire to be superintendent, saying in a letter shared with the research team, “Mike has proven to be an effective leader (who) took time to get to know the staff, students and community. as he researched ways to improve the educational opportunities available at our school.

Slowinski led a transition to a quarterly schedule at Menasha High, helped recreate the staff salary schedule, contributed to district vision and referendum planning, and developed plans to improve attendance and success, as graduation rates for African-American students have increased over the past three years.

“Parents and students feel listened to and respected when interacting with Mike,” said Marci Thiry, Menasha’s Director of Special Services. “He leads with integrity, dedication, openness, creativity, fairness and intelligence while working collaboratively.”

At Appleton East, Slowinski created a mentorship program to support students with mental health or academic challenges, as well as partnerships with community resources to provide comprehensive care for at-risk students. He created Hispanic and African-American cultural support groups.

Slowinski was one of three finalists who met on Wednesday with a community stakeholder group made up of district and community representatives, including parents, teachers, staff and community partners, before meeting with the board.

The school district hired the Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) 6 to lead the board through the research process. The CESA 6 team recruited and shortlisted candidates and presented a list of candidates to the Board on January 12 which was narrowed down for interviews on Wednesday. More information on the search process and timeline is detailed on the district’s website.

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