March 4, 2014

Two principals to retire at end of year

Two Hamilton School District principals will retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year. Templeton Middle School Principal Patricia Polczynski and Willow Springs Learning Center Principal Margaret Tackes, Ed. D., submitted retirement requests at the March 4 Hamilton School Board meeting.

Patricia Polczynski a Templeton leader for 20 years

Principal since 1996, Polczynski was first hired at Templeton in 1994 as the associate principal. She came to the Hamilton School District after teaching and coordinating programs at three middle schools in Milwaukee Public Schools. She earned her bachelor and master’s degrees in education from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Polczynski’s career in the Hamilton School District was highlighted with professional accomplishments. She was selected the “2006 Middle School Principal of the Year” by the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators for having strong instructional leadership skills. Templeton student achievement rose to be consistently among the top in southeastern Wisconsin.

Hamilton School District Superintendent Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., said Polczynski provided outstanding leadership that helped Templeton grow as a child-centered organization.

“Ms. Polczynski fostered a vision of middle level education that resulted in a nurturing environment in which students met the highest standards of academic achievement,” Cooke said. “At a school where children transition to adolescence, Ms. Polczynski built a culture that encouraged students and staff to grow, develop and achieve their potential.”

Margaret Tackes, Ed.D. serves Willow Springs for 8 years

Margaret Tackes, Ed.D., began her career in the Hamilton School District in 2006 as the Willow Springs interim principal. A year later she was appointed as the regular principal for the half-time position.

Before joining the district, Tackes had been a teacher and administrator in various schools. She began her educational career teaching elementary school children in Milwaukee Public Schools. She was assistant principal at Custer High School and Shorewood High School, and principal at Shorewood Intermediate School and Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Menomonee Falls.

Tackes received her bachelor and master’s degrees in education from UW – Milwaukee. She earned her doctorate in leadership, learning and service from Cardinal Stritch University where she later taught. At Alverno College she had been director of Administrative Leadership until 2012, and for the past four years has been director of the Leadership Academy in Character Education.

“Dr. Tackes’ welcoming nature as well as her knowledge and understanding of young children has been the key to her success at Willow Springs Learning Center,” Cooke said.

“She has encouraged Willow Springs staff to stretch their thinking regarding early childhood education to truly meet the needs of four-year-olds,” Cooke said. “Through her leadership and exceptional understanding of teaching and learning, Willow Springs is an outstanding environment where children begin their school experience.”

Input will be sought regarding qualities desired in the principal positions through voluntary parent and staff meetings.

Curriculum resources approved for purchase

The School Board approved up to $316,330 of reading, word study-phonics and social studies resources to be funded through the Educational Service budget and another $7,898 of benchmark literacy teacher resources to be funded through Special Services if they are needed. The benchmark literacy curriculum resources will be used at the elementary level. The social studies materials are for high school macroeconomic and psychology textbooks and elementary supplemental text resources.

Chapter 220, minority report given

Chapter 220 Integration Coordinator and school social worker Erica Bova-Brown reported on efforts to promote active engagement and high academic achievement among Chapter 220 and minority students. She provided achievement success indicators that noted participation in Advanced Placement and honors courses and the ACT, as well as standardized test and graduation rate results.

Assessment schedule provided

Instructional Services Supervisor Katie Little, Ph.D., described required standardized assessments that will change significantly next year. She provided detailed charts showing state-mandated assessments and associated minutes for each along with a schedule of district benchmark assessments.

Other personnel action

In other personnel matters, the School Board :

  • approved the retirement request of Hamilton student supervisor Randy Krajewski, effective June 13;
  • accepted the resignation of Katherine Martin as Hamilton Special Services paraprofessional, effective Feb. 18; and
  • appointed Mary Beth Nilles as a Templeton seventh grade replacement teacher, effective Feb. 24,  to fill the position previously held by Patricia Fry who died in January.