The resignation of Southwestern Elementary/Middle School principal, Carmen Burkum left a vacancy in the district with only two weeks until the beginning of school. At a special board meeting John Costello was hired to replace Burkum and officially began his duties with the district on Sept. 1.
Costello was raised in Lansing, Iowa where he attended Kee High. Costello said Kee High is very similar to Southwestern in many ways. Costello went on to attend Winona State University and obtained his bachelors degree in 1990. Costello finished his masters in educational leadership in 2010. Costello has two children a daughter Kiley who attends Winona State University and a son John who is a sophomore in the New Lisbon School District.
Costello taught fifth grade elementary at a parochial school in Mauston, before taking a position in the New Lisbon School District where he taught as an At-Risk Teacher, ED/LD resource teacher and a physical education/health teacher. Costello also was employed by CESA 5 where he worked as a behavioral intervention specialist in the Royall School District.
Costello is looking forward to many new challenges that continually will arise as a principal. "I look forward to working with such a terrific staff and getting to experience all the great things I have heard so much about," Costello said. As with any new position there are some concerns Costello has. "Getting to know all the students' names, their parents and community members in such a short time frame is a concern that will ultimately go away throughout the year," Costello said. "With the short hiring time frame and school starting so quickly, I really didn't have much time to get acquainted with anyone prior to school starting. I basically hit the ground running."
Costello wishes for district families to stop by and meet him. "My door is always open for parents, staff and community members to stop in. I am driven to meet the needs of all the students of this district and am anxious to begin building positive lifelong relationships, where I am able to make an impact on their lives. I believe that each and every student has something great to offer to our school and community, and I am looking forward to building a strong relationship between home and school to benefit the students of this great school district."
Costello is excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of him. "So far in the small amount of time I have been in the district and community I have been extremely impressed with the kindness and professionalism I have seen," Costello said. "It is quite evident that the staff and the community are committed to doing what is best for all students in our school."