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Wauwatosa School District Announces Additional Members of Leadership Team

On Monday, May 9, 2022, the Wauwatosa School District Board of Education approved Superintendent Dr. Demond Means’ recommendation to appoint the following members of its leadership team:

Ms. Gwendolyn Husslein, Director of Finance
Ms. Stacy Klemm, Director of Special Education
Ms. Leann Neese, Director of Instruction 
Ms. Emilie O’Connor, Director of Student Success

Ms. Gwendolyn Husslein has been named Director of Finance within the Division of Operations and Finance. Ms. Husslein brings more than ten years of school district experience to Wauwatosa. She is recognized for her deep understanding of funding and reporting, and she is focused on continuous improvement and leading with integrity. Ms. Husslein has been employed for more than ten years in the School District of Menomonee Falls, serving as Accounts Payable Accountant and moving into her most recent role of Finance Manager. Throughout her career, Ms. Husslein has successfully implemented GASB84, DPI School Level Reporting and WISE Finance, as well as a District P-Card program which has generated $475,000 revenue to date.  Ms. Husslein received two Bachelor of Business Administration degrees - one in Accounting and the other in Finance - from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “I feel lucky to have been chosen to work with Dr. Means and the full Administrative Team, along with the Wauwatosa School District Staff and Wauwatosa Community,” stated Husslein. “I’m excited to put my experience and collaborative nature to work with the team and ensure best financial practices."

Ms. Stacy Klemm has been appointed Director of Special Education within the Division of Pupil and Family Services. Ms. Klemm has more than 22 years of experience working with students. She excelled in roles such as Occupational Therapist, Assistive Technology Coordinator and Districtwide Program Support Teacher. Ms. Klemm currently serves as the Director of Pupil Services in the School District of Menomonee Falls. She has been recognized for establishing priorities for improving student achievement, coaching teachers through the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) process, assist in the development of transition services with students with disabilities and coordinate and oversee childfind activities to identify children who may be in need of special education services. Ms. Klemm favors the development and implementation of proactive procedures over reactive, responsive plans, and she believes in promoting and facilitating student success, independence and achievement through preparation. Ms. Klemm received her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and Masters of Science - Exceptional Education in Assistive Technology degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also earned a Cross Categorical Teaching Certification 1801 MC-EA and Director of Pupil Services and Special Education License from Cardinal Stritch University. “I am honored to have this opportunity to serve this district, the community, families, and our young scholars as the next Director of Special Education in the Wauwatosa School District,'' said Klemm. “In collaboration with staff and families, we will strive to have every student successfully reach their goals and life dreams.”

Ms. Leann Neese will serve as the Director of Instruction within the Division of Academic Performance. Ms. Neese is an analytical, dynamic educator with 23 years of experience in education and 13 years of hands-on instructional leadership. She has a talent for researching, developing and implementing innovative, standards-aligned educational curriculum  that meets the diverse needs of all learners. Ms. Neese believes in evidence-based decision making to inform the continuous improvement of instructional methods and curricular delivery. Throughout her career, she has worked for Franklin Public Schools as the Interim Director of Teaching and Learning, and Carmen Schools of Science and Technology as the Senior Director of Teaching and Learning. From 1999 to 2018, she served as a Special Education Teacher  and District Teacher Leader in the Wauwatosa School District. Ms. Neese earned a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Carroll University. “It is a privilege to serve as the Director of Instruction for the Wauwatosa School District. I am eager to learn, partner with, and serve alongside stakeholders for continuous improvement to best meet the needs of Wauwatosa students and families,” stated Neese. “I am committed to building upon the strengths of a great district to ensure that all students have access to engaging, rigorous instruction, preparing each individual for a future of choice.”

Ms. Emilie O’Connor has been appointed Director of Student Success within the Division of Pupil and Family Services. Ms. O’Connor brings more than 18 years of relevant experience to the Wauwatosa School District. She has served in a variety of student support roles throughout her career. She served students in the Wauwatosa School District from 2008 to 2013 as a social worker and PBIS coach, and then served as a Program Support Coordinator in the Hamilton School District. Most recently, she served as a technical assistance coordinator at the Wisconsin Response to Intervention (RTI) Center. She has participated in and provided a variety of professional training specific to building culturally-responsive systems, restorative practices, social emotional learning and crisis interventions. Ms. O’Connor earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Illinois Wesleyan University, as well as a Master of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also received a K-12 School Social Worker License from the Department of Public Instruction. “I am deeply honored to return to the Wauwatosa School District,” O’Connor stated. “I look forward to collaborating with the dedicated staff to continue creating safe and supportive learning environments and systems of support for all learners.”

“I am very much looking forward to working alongside these professionals as we propel the Wauwatosa School District forward,” said Dr. Means. “The education, experience and dedication that these leaders bring to the District will greatly benefit our staff, students and families. It is an honor to have the opportunity to partner with these professionals to continuously improve the Wauwatosa School District.” 

Once again, the District followed a robust screening and interview process to ensure stakeholder voice was reflected in the final decision. 

Prior to making a hiring decision for the Wauwatosa West principalship, initial input was gathered from families and staff via listening sessions. The District used this information to develop school profiles, which were then used to assess applicants and identify the top candidates for each position. These final candidates participated in three panel-style interviews - one with District staff, one with staff from Wauwatosa West, and another with community members. After narrowing down the candidate pool to three per school, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Nicole Marble, Superintendent Dr. Demond Means and School Board Member LeighAnne Fraley conducted final interviews. 

Candidates participated in panel-style interviews, all of which consisted of a presentation followed by a question and answer session. After the interviews, each team named their recommended finalists. The final candidates participated in an interview with the other department administrators. 

Contracts for Director of Finance, Director of Instruction, Director of Special Education, Director of Student Success and Wauwatosa West Principal will be effective July 1, 2022. 

The District will also be hiring for several other key administrative positions in the coming months at Wauwatosa West High School, Whitman Middle School and Eisenhower Elementary School.