For Immediate Release: June 10, 2015
Contact: Rachel Strauch-Nelson (608) 663-1903
The Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) today announced principal hires for next school year.
“Excellent school leaders are crucial in bringing our vision as a district to life,” Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said. “These principals are outstanding additions to our team, and we are proud to welcome them to their new roles.”
All new principals went through a rigorous selection process, where they had to demonstrate the key skills Madison principals need to be successful. After making it through the screening process, candidates met with community panels, made up of staff, families and community members, to help determine the best fit for each school.
New principals will also be part of the second year of the district’s Forward Madison partnership with the UW-Madison School of Education to provide support to new teachers and principals.
Pending Board approval, all candidates will start on July 1.
Britta Hanson, Crestwood Elementary School
Britta Hanson has over twenty years of experience as a leader in education. She currently serves as the principal of Franklin Elementary School, where she led the school through successful development and implementation of a school improvement plan and fostered a collaborative environment between staff, families and school. She has also worked coaching teachers at two other Madison elementary schools coaching teachers and has more than ten years of teaching experience herself. Britta has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin Madison.
Sylla Zarov, Franklin Elementary School
Sylla Zarov is currently the assistant principal at Glenn Stephens Elementary School. She has also worked as a teacher and instructional coach at Muir Elementary, and as an interventionist at Randall Elementary. Sylla also worked as a classroom teacher for 10 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UW-Madison and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Edgewood College.
Salvador Velasco, Lindbergh Elementary School
Salvador Velasco has a wide range of experience in teaching, coaching and leadership in education. He served as a bilingual teacher, lead literacy teacher, citywide literacy coordinator, literacy coach and currently assistant principal at Charles Darwin Elementary School in Chicago. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a master’s degree in educational administration from Governors State University.
Deborah Lyons, Olson Elementary School
Deborah Lyons is currently the assistant director for literacy and special programs at the Monona Grove School District. She has also worked as a principal, assistant principal and improvement coordinator. Before those roles, she worked as an elementary school teacher for seven years. Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kenya Walker, Blackhawk Middle School
Kenya Walker is currently the assistant principal at Blackhawk, where she coaches and works with teachers to improve instruction, works with staff to increase family engagement and has helped to shape the efforts designed to improve school climate and culture in alignment with the school’s improvement plan. She has previously worked as an assistant principal and classroom teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in language and literacy and a master’s degree in educational leadership, all from National-Louis University.
Jessica Taylor, Hamilton Middle School
Jessica Taylor has a strong record in education and in working with the Hamilton Middle School Community. She has spent the past year serving as interim principal at Hamilton and the previous three years as assistant principal. She also has worked as a new teacher mentor and a middle school teacher for six years. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch.
Issac Kirkwood, Interim Principal, Jefferson Middle School
Issac Kirkwood has worked this year as an assistant principal at West High School, where he serves as part of the school leadership team and leads the school’s Positive Behavior Support and behavior response systems. He previously worked as principal of Mitchell Elementary School and assistant principal at Gilmore Middle School in Racine. Issac also worked as a high school social worker for five years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Southern Illinois University, a master’s degree in social work from Aurora University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from National-Louis University.
Kristin Foreman, Sherman Middle School
Kristin Foreman brings teaching and leadership expertise to Sherman Middle School. She is currently the principal at Von Steuben Middle School in Peoria, IL. She has also served as an high school assistant principal and dean of students. Kristin also spent 10 years in the classroom in elementary and middle school. She has a master’s degree in educational administration from Bradley University.
Mike Hernandez, East High School
Mike brings 13 years of principal experience, including the last eight years as the principal of Sherman Elementary School. He also served as a summer school principal at East High School and Marquette/O’Keeffe in Madison. He has also served as a principal in Illinois and California. Michael has a master’s degree in educational administration and in special education from California State University and he is currently a doctoral student at Edgewood College.
Karyn Stocks-Glover, Innovative and Alternative Programs
Karyn Stocks-Glover brings strong skills coaching and leading teams in education. She currently serves as a School Improvement Partner, coaching and supporting the needs of three Madison high schools, including Innovative High School. She previously worked as an associate principal, instructional program manager for secondary schools, teacher mentor and English teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from The Evergreen State College, a master’s degree in English and secondary education from Smith College and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
Sean Storch, La Follette High School
Sean Storch has been the principal at Black Hawk Middle School since 2010. He has also served as the assistant principal and dean of students at Toki Middle School. Previously he worked as an English teacher at La Follette High School and in Stoughton. Sean has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis.