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Whitnall High School loses another administrator

Athletic director joins principal in resignation

Jan. 28, 2009

Athletic/Activities Director Mike Brand has become the second Whitnall High School administrator in less than a month to announce he will leave at the end of the school year in June.

Brand resigned late last week, and his resignation was accepted, without comment, by the Whitnall School Board on Jan. 26. He has served 9 1/2 years as an administrative director and also served as an assistant principal during some of his WHS tenure.

Brand denied his departure is linked to the resignation of Principal Joel Eul, who quit his job shortly after the winter holidays ended, and said he was not pressured to quit.

“I know it’s a little unusual for a guy my age, but it was completely my decision,” said Brand, 50. “I’m happy with it. I feel very comfortable. Nine and a half years in this position is kind of a long time.”

Surprising pattern

While it’s not unusual for school district administrators to resign to accept a higher-paying job at another school district, two high-ranking administrators resigning mid-winter without jobs lined up during a recession is somewhat unusual.

Officials provided no comment on that point, however.

School Board member Bill Osterndorf declined to comment on the timing of either resignation, both which preceded the board’s mid-year review of school district administrative and supervisory positions. At a Jan. 26 meeting, the board began that closed-session review process.

“This is the time of year you typically look at performance,” Osterndorf said. “It’s important to us. … That’s the bottom line.”

Uncertain plans

Brand, who has been either a teacher or administrator for 24 years, said he’s ready for a career change but isn’t sure what he’ll do next.

“Right now the sky’s the limit but I don’t know yet,” said Brand, who speculated he may eventually find work as a teacher or administrator in the Milwaukee area or may take another path. “I may wind up being a dad that works part time and takes care of the kids.”

Brand and his wife, Sara, have two children — a 15-year-old and a 10-month old.

“I’ll have to mull it over. It’s early in the education (hiring) process. Most jobs will be posted in the next couple of months,” Brand said.

Looking back

He said he would miss working at the high school, where colleagues learned of his decision in a mass e-mail he sent out recently.

“I told them ‘Thanks for the memories,’ ” Brand said. “I liked just being here and working with everybody. I don’t know if friendships is the right word, but I got to know a lot of people here and developed a lot of respect for the people I worked with — students, coaches, secretaries, parents.”

John Neville can be reached at (262) 446-6609.

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