School official taking position in La Crosse
Steve Salerno, director of administrative and human services, will take a similar job in La Crosse if the school board there approves his appointment June 15.
The move leaves the Janesville district even shorter on experience. The school board replaced longtime Superintendent Tom Evert in February with Karen Schulte, who was director of student services.
Schulte now oversees student services in addition to being superintendent.
Doug Bunton, longtime director of business services, is retiring at the end of this month. Schulte is reorganizing that department and will interview candidates for a chief financial officer this month. Four longtime principals also are retiring at the end of the year.
“I think in the long run, it’s just fine for the district,” said school board member Tim Cullen.
Cullen said this would give Schulte an opportunity to build her own leadership team.
More than 100 people applied for recent principal and assistant principal openings, Cullen noted.
“This is a place where people want to work, and a lot of people are interested, so I think she’s going to have a strong pool of people to fill all these jobs,” Cullen said.
Salerno has led the district’s negotiators, who just started bargaining a new teachers contract. Salerno said the district has a strong team, and he’s confident negotiations will continue smoothly.
The district and teacher negotiators are trying to find more dates to meet before the next scheduled session July 8, Salerno said.
“It’s really been an honor to be part of the School District of Janesville. This is a really fantastic community, and I really believe its best years are to come,” in large part due to its hard-working school staff, Salerno said.
Salerno earned $124,500 this year. His salary as associate superintendent of human resources in La Crosse would be $119,717, La Crosse Superintendent Jerry Kember said.
Kember said Salerno’s new job would be similar to the one in Janesville. The only difference seems to be that he would supervise only some of the principals, not all of them, as he does in Janesville.
Salerno was principal of Boscobel Middle/High School before being named principal at Janesville’s Marshall Middle School in 2003. Before being named to the Janesville director job, he had applied for the position of principal of Parker High School.
Salerno earned his bachelor’s degree from Winona State University, and that’s where he met his wife, he said. The couple has long wanted to return to that area. La Crosse is just south of Winona.
Salerno said he hadn’t expected the La Crosse job to open up. When it did, he applied and was surprised to be called for interviews, he said.
Schulte said in a news release that Salerno is “strongly committed to education, the staff and students of the district. He has embraced his roles and responsibilities with great energy, compassion, and fairness. We wish him much success and a smooth transition for him and his family.”