Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 19:08
Sauer accepts outside position days before start of new school year; succession plan put into play
Getting ready for the start of the new school year got a bit more challenging in the Northern Ozaukee School District last week with the resignation of Jeff Sauer as principal of Ozaukee Middle School and Ozaukee High School.
Sauer, who lives in Waupun, was hired by the district to fill the combined administrative position in 2011.
He told district officials last week he was resigning to become the high school principal and curriculum coordinator for Dodgeland School District.
Sauer came to Northern Ozaukee to fill the void created by the resignation of Kevin Parker as high school principal and the retirement of Pam Warner at the middle school.
He was previously the principal at Colby High School, and an assistant principal in Waupun.
Supt. Blake Peuse said Sauer’s resignation did not come as a surprise. He told officials he had applied for numerous administrative positions closer to his home.
“Jeff did a tremendous job for our district for the past three years, but he also faced a two-hour commute every day,” Peuse said.
“When a comparable position opened closer to home and included the curriculum responsibilities, it was too much for him to pass up.”
Although the timing posed a challenge, the district is in a better position to handle the resignation after hiring two assistant principals last year.
Those two administrators will be moved into the principal positions as part of a succession plan that had been in place in the event of staff turnover.
At a special meeting of the School Board on Monday, David Karrels was named high school principal and Joe Hastreiter was named middle school principal.
The board approved salaries of $87,600 for both new principals for 240-day contracts. Both men already have the required licensing from the state.
Board members, on the recommendation of the Personnel Committee, denied Sauer’s request that $3,000 in liquidated damages be waived for his late resignation notice. Sauer said the waiver was justified because his replacements were already on staff.
Karrels said he was confident he would make a smooth transition in assuming the principal duties at the high school.
“We have been prepared to make a transition if it was needed, and I am very excited to work with such a dedicated staff,” he said.
“We have an excellent group of students at OHS and based on my experience in the district, the support from parents and community members has been outstanding. Any highly successful organization realizes that it is never about a single person in leadership, but rather a team effort focused on a common vision for teaching and learning.”
In addition, the board approved expanding the role of Charlie Schwartz as dean of students to cover all three district schools. His duties will include serving as transportation supervisor.
Schwartz will make a salary of $62,000 over a 200-day contract.
With the staff shuffling, Peuse said the net result is the district is reducing its number of administrators from seven to six.
He projected that the new staffing alignment will result in a savings of $20,000 to $25,000.