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Milton chooses new schools superintendent

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
April 8, 2011
— The Milton School District announced it has chosen a new superintendent.

Michael Garrow, principal of Mount Horeb High School, has accepted an offer to become top administrator at Milton, according to a news release this week from the Milton School District.


Garrow is set to fill a vacancy by Superintendent Bernie Nikolay, who announced in October 2010 that he planned to take a job as schools superintendent in Cambridge, where he and his family live.


The district expects Garrow's contract will be approved at a school board meeting Monday. Garrow will start work July 1, with Nikolay staying at the helm of the district through June.


The district chose Garrow from an initial list of 27 candidates during a search conducted mostly by the school board. Garrow and Hustisford Schools Superintendent Jeremy Biehl were the top two finalists for the position.


School board member Jon Cruzan said board members had observed Garrow at Mount Horeb High school, watching him interact with teachers, staff and students.


Cruzan said board members were impressed with Garrow's management style and his rapport with staff. Cruzan called Garrow "gregarious and confident" and "an outstanding personality for a leadership role."


A former physical education and health teacher at Clintonville, Garrow later worked as dean of students, athletic director and a teacher at a middle school in Jefferson. He has worked 15 years in public schools and has been in Mount Horeb for seven years.


The Mount Horeb School District serves 2,350 students.


Garrow has a bachelor's degree in health and physical education, a certification in coaching and athletic training and a master's degree and doctorate in educational leadership.


He has coached volleyball, gymnastics, track and cross-country, experiences he said have helped form his management style.


"From the mindset of a coach, a great coach is a great leader. I think those things correlate well together—having a plan, a vision and getting people to work together as a team," Garrow said. "The same skills I used in coaching I used as a principal. I plan to use those skills as a superintendent."


Garrow lives in the village of Blue Mounds with his wife, Angela, and their two children Brianna, 12, and Taylor, 10. He and his family plan to relocate soon.


Garrow said he recognizes the challenges of coming to the helm at Milton School District amid pending state legislation that could have a historic impact on funding and labor relations in public schools statewide.


He said he wants to work hard to establish a rapport with school district employees.


"This next year I really want to learn as much as I can about the community and the district and really keep dialogue open so to create healthy relationships. That's going to be imperative for us to move forward," Garrow said.



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