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Platteville school principals to change Nov. 1
Two to become administrators, Julius named Middle School principal
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The Platteville School District is making changes in its administrators, including principals at two schools.

The School Board approved the changes, which take effect Nov. 1, after a 38-minute-long closed session Monday night:

•    Platteville Middle School principal Lisa Finnegan will become the school district’s assessment and instructional technology coordinator, and will be “assisting” high school principal Jeff Jacobson.

•    Finnegan will be replaced as Middle School principal by Jason Julius, a science instructor at Platteville High School.

•    Neal Wilkins Elementary Learning Center principal ReNah Reuter will become district director of student achievement and intervention services.

•    Reuter will be replaced as Neal Wilkins principal by Don Shaw, who will remain as Westview Elementary School principal as well. Shaw had been the fourth- and fifth-grade principal at the Middle School.

The school board also voted to accept the resignation of Pupil Services Director Robin North effective Oct. 31.

The school district will be hiring a Home to School/Early Intervention Services Coordinator, “with a focus on supporting the achievement of and developing connections with families of our early elementary school students,” according to information given out at the meeting.

School superintendent Connie Valenza said the administrative changes were in part a response to a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.

Valenza also said North’s resignation “caused us to look at how we configure our overall administrative responsibilities,” as well as “multiple deadlines” for new federal and state educational initiatives within the next few years.

A letter from Valenza to Neal Wilkins parents noted that Reuter “has done an outstanding job as principal of Neal Wilkins,” but the school district has “some rapidly approaching and important deadlines to meet, and I need her leadership skills at the district level.”

A letter from Valenza to high school parents said Finnegan “will have a strong and lasting impact on student learning at Platteville High School and has already been playing an integral role in our district one-to-one technology initiative.”

Letters to Middle School parents said guidance counselor Laura Melby would be the Middle School’s dean of students, and guidance counselor Victoria Feldman would be working full-time at the Middle School.

Finnegan has been with the school district for 32 years. She was the Middle School assistant principal for six years, after having been High School assistant principal.

“I’ve been in the school district a long time in a variety of different roles, and I’m very pleased to have this next opportunity,” she said.

Finnegan said Julius “will do a great job” as principal, lauding the Middle School’s “fantastic staff,” adding that they are “why it’s the school that it is. They are fabulous, and I will miss them, and they will carry on.”

Platteville Middle School was the fourth highest graded school and the highest graded middle school in Southwest Wisconsin according to the most recent state Department of Public Instruction school report cards.