New Rhinelander School District Administrator Kelli Jacobi wearily eyes the calendar. For any school district, August is always a time of great stress.
As the school year approaches, teachers who have gotten jobs in other districts leave positions that need filling and hiring is often frantic and fast paced.
But for the Rhinelander School District, this summer has seemed particularly full of new faces, starting with the hiring of Jacobi and moving right on down the line. The newest of those hirings was recently announced as Wil Losch was named the District Charter School principals.
“We have seen a lot of open positions this summer which is not unusual with the number of openings,” Jacobi said. “What has been unusual is the number of administrative staff that will be new this year.”
That all started last year when administrator Roger Erdahl announced his resignation and Jacobi was tabbed to take his place.
“That led to a lot of shifting in the administration,” Jacobi said.
Of the several new hires, many come to Rhinelander as former students, former teachers or current teachers, making them familiar with the needs and culture of the city.
“That has been a big plus especially for me,” Jacobi said. “When you have a staff that is plugged into what the school and the community is about from the start, it makes it easier to focus on other things.”
Things fell into place for Losch.
The most recent administrative hiring highlights the issues the school faces when filling administrative positions and also was a lucky strike for the district and Losch.
Losch began teaching in the Charter Schools since their inception seven years ago and has been a popular teacher in the program. But with his move to an administrative role, the district will need to fill his shoes as a teacher.
“That is a position that we had to post right away,” Jacobi said, adding there are other teaching positions posted in the district at this time as well due to recent resignations. “The good news is that we have already identified possible candidates for those spots.”
With the hiring of Losch as the new administrator, the district may have had luck on their side to keep the teacher who appears to have support among the parents of the students at the Charter School.
Losch’s contract is for one year on an emergency administrators license as he finishes up his advanced degree. One year contracts are typical for staff with emergency licenses and after he receives his degree, Jacobi said a long term agreement could be reached.
But with Losch pursuing an administration degree, the real possibility of him leaving the area existed had this position not come open.
“He was getting his administrative license,” Jacobi said. “But I don’t think he had the goal of just working in Rhinelander. He wanted to be an administrator, things fell into place for him to stay here.”
Having an administrator so closely attached to the program has been a plus for the district already.
“He has already begun coordinating and meeting with staff and touching base with new students,” Jacobi said. “He hit the ground running and he is doing a great job. It is more than we could have asked from him right off the bat.”