Senior MAPS leader resigns for new job

Going into the 2011-12 school year, the Merrill Area Public Schools will be without one of the longest serving members of the Central Office administrative team as Carole Witt Starck, Co-Assistant Superintendent and Director of Curriculum and Instruction resigned last Wednesday.

Witt Starck resigned effective July 13 to become the Assistant Superintendent at the Kettle Moraine School District. The MAPS Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to accept her resignation.

She came to MAPS seven years ago as the Director of Curriculum and eventually added the technology position to her title. Three years ago, she was named Co-Assistant Superintendent, along with Bruce Anderson.

In her letter of resignation, Witt Starck cited the many instances where MAPS has become a leader in the area in innovative uses of hardware and software in the classroom. She also gave the building administrators credit for helping MAPS become a leader in standards-based grading and assessments and other improvements in the district during her seven years.

“The MHS Flex 14 schedule is a model of high school reform along with the quality partnerships with NTC and UW-Marathon,” Witt Starck said in her resignation. “These programs, along with MAPS math program, the arts, the library media centers and other key departments contribute to the progressive image of Merrill in central Wisconsin and beyond our region.”

She also gave credit to the three School Board Presidents and two superintendents she worked for in for their guidance and confidence in her ability.

“Without their trust – much of the progress in Merrill would not have occurred as the atmosphere would not have allowed so much reform, in so few years,” she said.

She also thanked the teachers of the district who wholeheartedly got behind many of the changes she initiated.

According to MAPS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Snyder, the Co-Assistant Superintendent positions were to be eliminated at the end of the 2011-12 school year with the duties of curriculum and technology director being redefined. David Brandvold had been appointed Central Office Administrator and will be sharing Witt Starck’s duties with Dr. John Sample for the short-term. This appointment is until the end of the upcoming school year, at which time Brandvold can reapply for the position permanently.

MHS Dean of Students Kurt Soderberg has been appointed interim assistant principal at MHS to fill Brandvold’s old position. He will also have the option at the end of the 2011-12 school year of reapplying for the position permanently.

Witt Starck was set to make $116,000 in salary and benefits during the upcoming school year. Brandvold will make between $94,000 and $95,000 in his new position. If both he and Soderberg stay in their positions beyond the upcoming school year, the district will see a reduction in one administrative position.

“Carole was a very big part of the academic success we have had in this district the past seven years,” Snyder said. “Her leadership in curriculum and technology especially will be missed.”

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