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One principal hired, one more to go
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The Platteville School District had two principal vacancies going into last week.

The school district now has one, and may have that last vacancy filled within the week.

The School Board May 27 approved the hiring of Kristoffer Brown as the principal of Neal Wilkins Early Learning Center.

Brown is the dean of students at Three Lakes Elementary School, as well as the Three Lakes School District’s activities and technology director, and community education and recreation director.

The final principal vacancy, replacing Platteville High School principal Jeff Jacobson, may be decided within the next week. The School Board’s Monday meeting agenda includes the hiring of a high school principal. Jacobson is leaving at the end of the school year June 30 to become the Dodgeville School District administrator.

The hiring of Jacobson’s replacement will complete an unusual school year in which three of the four principals left, in Jacobson’s case, or were reassigned to new positions. In November, Neal Wilkins principal ReNah Reuter was named district director of student achievement and intervention services, and Platteville Middle School principal Lisa Finnegan became the school district’s assessment and instructional technology coordinator and a PHS assistant principal.

Platteville High School teacher Jason Julius became the PMS principal, while Westview Elementary School principal Don Shaw was named Neal Wilkins principal as well. With Brown’s hiring, Shaw will go back to being the principal only at Westview.

“The changes in November were to some extent to get us through the school year,” said superintendent Connie Valenza in March. “Having a principal split between Neal Wilkins and Westview isn’t the optimal scenario.”

Finnegan, meanwhile, will become the school district’s assessment and IT coordinator full-time next school year, upon the retirements of school district IT manager Bill Grutz and assistant IT manager Dan Steinbach.

The school district still has to hire an associate principal and activities director to replace Alan Minter, who resigned effective at the end of the school year.

The School Board May 27 also approved the hiring of Brandon Temperly as PMS physical education teacher and Emily Brown as PMS special education teacher. Emily Brown replaces Mary Beth Pence, who is moving closer to her family.

Emily Brown is Kristoffer Brown’s wife. Valenza said she was “significantly more qualified” than the other applicants for the position.