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Parkview principal being groomed to take district reigns in the future

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Kayla Bunge
May 3, 2008
— Parkview High School Principal Steve Lutzke is on a crash course to becoming district administrator.

With his office next door to District Administrator Patrick Kennedy’s office, the two already work closely.


But beginning next school year, Kennedy will formally groom Lutzke for the administrator position.


Kennedy will work part-time, about 60 to 70 percent of the time, and serve as a mentor to Lutzke. Lutzke will assume the role of district administrator when Kennedy is absent.


The partnership allows for a “seamless transition,” Kennedy wrote in a memo on behalf of the Parkview School Board on Monday.


“The opportunity to act as a mentor and confidante is a very successful model that many progressive school systems have used over time,” he wrote.


The partnership also allows Lutzke to maintain the positive growth he’s started at the high school.


“The thought of having a new high school principal again next year and the fourth one in four years was simply not appealing,” Kennedy wrote in the memo.


Lutzke said since coming to the district last school year, he’s worked to establish higher student expectations, something the high school was lacking under previous principals.


“They’d learn from one person what they expect, and then they’d get someone else in the building,” he said.


Lutzke said teachers also are looking for consistency.


The school board and Kennedy discussed searching for a new district administrator outside of the district but concluded an outside search had “little distinct advantage.”


“This district needs strong, competent, visionary and caring leadership,” Kennedy wrote in the memo. “It needs someone who is committed to improving the culture and achievement… We obviously feel Steve is that person.”


Lutzke said learning from an experienced district administrator is “invaluable.”


“Many times, you’re just thrown into the fire,” he said.


Kennedy came to the Parkview School District at the start of last school year after the district parted ways with previous District Administrator Gary Reineck because the school board and Reineck had different views of the district’s future.


Kennedy previously served as superintendent of the McFarland School District for 20 years before retiring in 1992. Since then, he has served as district administrator in Wisconsin Dells and Fontana and as principal in Verona and Evansville schools.


Lutzke said he’s at Parkview for the long haul.


He has a son in first grade at Footville Elementary School and would like to see him graduate from Parkview High School, he said.



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