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Greenfield School District fills key administrative posts

Board approves hiring of two principals and finance director

June 4, 2013

Greenfield — Two of Greenfield's four elementary schools will have new principals next year, and the district is getting a new director of business services.

The Greenfield School Board approved the three hires recently. The district received 77 applications for principal.

Maple Grove

At the helm of Maple Grove Elementary will be Dana Croatt, who is currently principal of a Chandler, Ariz., school she opened. The school, kindergarten through eighth grade, saw its enrollment grow from 375 students in 2011 to more than 1,000 in 2013.

Before that, Croat was principal of Legacy Traditional School in Maricopa, Ariz.

Starting as a teacher, she has served as a special education director, a resource and inclusion specialist for pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, an integration facilitator kindergarten through eighth grade, and a high school resource teacher.

Croatt's career has given her experience with many of the educational initiatives in Greenfield.

She was honored with the Arizona Department of Education "Excelling School Award - Grade A," the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club "Outstanding Teacher of the Year," and the Southwest Special Education Plan Area "Alternative Dispute Resolution Skills Award."

The University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate in special education also holds a doctor's degree in K-12 educational leadership from the University of Southern California.

The current Maple Grove principal Melissa Yow will be leaving for another school district next year.

Glenwood

The new principal of Glenwood Elementary School will be Steven Newcomer, a sixth-grade math and literacy teacher at Templeton Middle School in the Sussex-Hamilton School District. While he has not been a principal, he leads professional development programs for other teachers and revised the math department's assessments at Templeton.

He also introduced the school's curriculum to new parents during orientations and piloted the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support programs to improve student behavior.

"I believe that all students are entitled to a dynamic education experience that will prepare them to be successful in a global society," Newcomer wrote in his application.

He pledged to be a good communicator with students, staff and parents.

The current Glenwood principal Dan Carr is retiring.

"There is a perfect match between them and us, in terms of experiences and skills especially as they relate to the new math program that Greenfield is embarking on," Interim Superintendent David Ewald said.

Financial administrator

Handling the district's finances will be Amy Kohl, who is currently business manager in the Fox Point-Bayside School District. Before that, she was business manager with the Whitnall schools.

Greenfield's director of business services resigned earlier this year to take a position with a university. Kohl was appointed from among 16 applicants after an extensive selection and interview process.

While in Whitnall, Kohl completed a $4 million renovation project, on time and under budget, and facilitated a Strategic Planning Committee on Finance and Facilities.

At Fox Point - Bayside, she oversaw the completion of $3 million worth of renovations, including heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and roofing projects. She also initiated cost-saving changes related to post-employment liabilities.

Kohl also was business administrator for the Plymouth Joint School District, where she completed an $18 million referendum project consisting of capital improvements to six facilities. The project was completed on time and under budget.

Kohl has a master's degree in school business management from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is a past president of the Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce board of directors and president and secretary of the Southern Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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