Former Homestead official to replace longtime middle school chief Galarowicz
The Port Washington-Saukville School Board on Monday selected Marshfield High School Principal Steve Sukawaty to succeed Arlan Galarowicz as principal of Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
Sukawaty, 52, a graduate of Slinger High School and former middle school teacher and guidance counselor, will begin work at the Port Washington school on July 1.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this opportunity,” he said during an interview Tuesday.
Supt. Michael Weber said it takes a special breed of educator to work with middle school students, and the 16-member interview team is confident the district has found just such a person in Sukawaty.
“Working at the middle school level is a little different,” Weber said. “Children are growing. They’re maturing and they are excitable, so you really have to love the middle school level to work there.
“Steve’s passion has always been and continues to be at the middle school level.”
Sukawaty, who was an assistant principal at Homestead High School in Mequon from 2007 to 2012 before leaving for Marshfield, said he’s happy to be returning to his middle school roots.
“Being around middle school kids is so revitalizing,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to be returning to that level.”
Sukawaty said he’s also fortunate to be coming to the Port Washington-Saukville School District.
“Thomas Jefferson and the school district have a great reputation,” he said. “But what sealed the deal for me was my tour of the middle school. There’s just such a feeling of energy in the students and the staff.
“Mr. Galarowicz and his staff must feel really proud.”
In its recommendation to the board, the interview team, which consisted of administrators, School Board members, middle school staff members and a parent, said Sukawaty’s references praised his ability to work with others.
“All the references consistently praised Steve for his ability to get along with everyone, his passion and caring attitude toward students and his strong relationship skills,” the team wrote.
Sukawaty has a bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a master’s degree in school guidance from UW-Whitewater and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee.
He taught middle school social studies in the Racine Unified School District and Kettle Moraine School District in Dousman and was a middle school guidance counselor at Steffen Middle School in Mequon before becoming a high school administrator.
Sukawaty said he and his wife Lisa, a special education teacher, and their daughter Nya, a fifth-grader, will move to Port Washington.
“I want to weave ourselves into the fabric of this community,” he said.
Sukawaty will replace Galarowicz, who is retiring at the end of the school year after 22 years at the helm of the middle school.
He will join longtime Assistant Principal Liz Ferger, who did not apply for the principal job, on the school’s administrative team.
Sukawaty will be paid $110,000 a year, less than the $120,000 Galarowicz earns.
He will also be paid a stipend of $4,400 a year to oversee the district’s elementary and middle school summer school program, although the stipend will be less this year because much of the work will be finished by the time he starts his job.
“In every place I’ve worked, I’ve seen excellence,” Sukawaty said. “I know excellence when I see it, and Thomas Jefferson and the Port-Saukville District have got it.”