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School Board President Jim Schaefer announces he won't seek re-election

Dec. 3, 2013

2 December 2013
Today I am announcing that will not seek re-election to the Muskego Norway School Board when my term ends in April of 2014.
Twelve years ago someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I would consider running for the Muskego Norway School Board. I was the father of two future students in the district, and am a product of this district myself. In fact, my wife and I settled in Muskego in large part because of the school district. At that time the board was largely dysfunctional and I ran on the premise that I wanted to change the tone of the board and of the district. I never dreamed that I would serve twelve years, or have the honor of leading the board as board president for the past eight years.
We have accomplished a lot over the past twelve years and we have changed the tone and culture of the board. We have become more focused on our clear mission of Every Student Learning, Growing, Succeeding and our vision to be the district of choice in Southeast Wisconsin for students, parents and staff. Through that focus and determination we have seen significant progress while remaining good stewards of the community’s resources.
Some of that progress has included some accolades, such as Muskego High School being named to Newsweek magazine’s list of Best High Schools in America, or our previous Superintendent being named Wisconsin’s 2011 Superintendent of the Year, the District’s Baldridge Award for Continuous Improvement and the recent recognition of the Blue Ribbon School Award to Country Meadows Elementary by the US Department of Education. We have seen increased participation in AP courses and ACT testing and seen increases in the results of both programs as well. I do not take these as my accomplishments, or even as those of the board, but rather as the output of a system where all parts – staff, students, administration and even the board are working together towards one goal. We have improved in nearly every facet of the district yet that is not enough. If we become satisfied with our progress we will become complacent and our performance will begin to slip. We must continue to look for ways to do it better and to improve in how we educate students and serve the community.
Clearly our greatest accomplishments as a board must include the hiring and retaining of key leaders in the district. I have often said that the board has one employee – the Superintendent, and everyone else works for him or her. I have been blessed to work with amazing educators, successful leaders and great people in my time here and am especially blessed to have been a part of working with both Dr. Joe Schroeder and Dr. Kelly Thompson. Their efforts and leadership is what is moving this district forward from good to great and beginning to realize our mission and vision.
I believe we are all put here with a purpose to serve God and to serve others. In many ways, my time on the board has been both for me and I am truly honored to have served the community in this way. I hope my service has been true to the man I try to be and to the integrity and the respect that the position of school board deserves. Thank you for putting your trust in me and for allowing me this honor.


Jim Schaefer
Muskego Norway Board of Education

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