Peterson is Janesville charter school choice

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

JANESVILLE—Lisa Peterson is Superintendent Karen Schulte's choice to lead Janesville's charter schools to a bigger and better future.

The Janesville School Board will be asked to approve the appointment when it meets Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Peterson has been principal at Rock River Charter since 2001, a job she held while also serving as assistant principal at Franklin Middle School.

If approved, Peterson would be principal of Rock River Charter School and coordinator of charter school development, a new position.

Schulte has told the board she wanted to expand the charter schools, something Peterson oversaw at Rock River Charter School.

Rock River Charter School expands this year to the third floor of its leased building at 31 W. Milwaukee St.

Schulte told the board she wants the new position to oversee development of a comprehensive plan to increase charter school enrollment.

Notable among charter schools with growth potential is the Janesville Virtual Academy, which could offer English and SAT/ACT preparation services to students around the world, Schulte said in a July memo.

“We want a growth plan to promote expansion and revenue …  and market our district as the 'preferred vendor' of choice,” Schulte wrote.

The charter schools have been instrumental in attracting students from other districts and have been deciding factors for some families who have moved to Janesville, school officials have said.

Finding new students and the new revenue they bring is a key goal the board has set for Schulte.

Peterson also is expected to take over guidance counseling at Rock River Charter, relieving pressure on Parker and Craig high school counselors, who have been doing that job for the past two years.

Peterson taught English at Parker High School from 1992-07. She holds master's degrees in curriculum and instruction from UW-Madison and educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. She is enrolled in a doctoral program through Cardinal Stritch.

Schulte's recommendation is based on Peterson's teaching experience, her strengths in leadership and guidance and knowledge related to Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, the district's discipline/behavior program, according to a news release

“She is an active learner and has a high level of enthusiasm and vision for charter schools,” according to a news release. “She has great creativity and ability to grow the charter school programming.”

Forty-two people applied for the position. Four were interviewed.

Schulte is recommending a two-year contract for Peterson, “based on her previous high standards and ability to perform at the leadership level.” Her salary for this school year would be $95,000.

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