A look into Tony Evers’ past

Tony Evers will be sworn in as Wisconsin’s new governor in January.

Evers worked as a high school and elementary school principal in Tomah in the early 1980s.

We spoke with three former teachers who all worked under Evers, and they believe his experience will serve him well as governor.

Retired fourth-grade teacher Barb Rowan worked under Evers at Miller Elementary School in Tomah.

“He always wanted to learn more, do more, make life better for others. He was always very encouraging,” Rowan said.

One of the things she remembers most about her old boss is that he would listen to her ideas.

“He always was willing to listen, willing to hear everyone’s point of view. He had a vision, he always had a vision,” Rowan said.

Sandy Murray, another retired teacher who worked under Evers, also appreciated his openness.

“I very much enjoyed him as a principal. I always liked the fact that he was open. He’d listen to you, he was fair, he was friendly. I was a young teacher, I was a new teacher and he helped me become who I am,” Murray said.

Paul Wolf, a former agriculture teacher at Tomah High School, says Evers wanted to find a solution to every problem.

“He was always searching for the best answer, the best way to do things, the best way to solve issues,” Wolf said.

Wolf believes Evers will bring that mentality to the governor’s mansion.

“I knew the type of person he was at Tomah, and those things don’t change. He will govern in a collaborative way, and he will try to seek out the best answers. He will work across the aisle, partly because he has to, but because he would have no matter what,” Wolf said.

Looking back, Rowan remembers Evers’ leadership in the school.

“He definitely would have been one of my top principals that I’ve worked for and I have worked for many in my 37 years as a teacher,” Rowan said.

All three former teachers think Evers will be a collaborative governor, but only time will tell.

Evers will step down as the state’s superintendent on Jan. 7, when he will also be sworn in as governor.

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