Retired Muskego High School principal will serve as interim replacement for Ryan Oertel

Oertel has become the curriculum coordinator for the Elmbrook School District

Aug. 5, 2014

Muskego — The Muskego-Norway School Board appointed former Muskego High School principal Dennis Bussen as the interim high school principal on Monday, following the resignation of Ryan Oertel.

Oertel, who has been at the school's helm for two years, will be curriculum coordinator for secondary education in the Elmbrook School District starting this fall.

With the school year on the verge of starting, this is a bad time to try to hire a principal, said Muskego School Board President Rick Petfalski.

"People who were interested in being a principal started looking last spring and have accepted positions," by now, he said.

Hiring an interim principal will mean the school board can take its time to find the right person, he said. The interim principal is expected to serve a year at the most, Petfalski said.

Bussen was Muskego High School principal for 11 years from 2001 to 2012 before becoming an assistant superintendent in the 2012-13 school year. He retired last July at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

"He's an outstanding replacement for Mr. Oertel," Petfalski said when the board made its unanimous decision to go with Bussen.

Superintendent Kelly Thompson applauded the choice, also.

Bussen's experience in the district, his understanding of the continuous improvement process the district uses and his relationships with the staff all mean he will be able to hit the ground running, Thompson said.

"We are delighted," she said.

Thompson added that Bussen once told her that of his more than 30 years in education, his years as Muskego High School principal were closest to his heart.


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