School District of La Crosse announces new leaders

Director of elementary education, principals

The School District of La Crosse announced the hiring of a new director of elementary education and two new school principals.

The Board of Education approved the hiring of Shelley Shirel as the School District of La Crosse’s new director of elementary education. The position is responsible for framing and executing a vision of effective instruction for preschool through fifth-grade.

Shirel spent the last nine years as the principal of Spence Elementary School in La Crosse and as the district’s supervisor of high-performance learning. She graduated from Cameron University, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. She earned her Master of Education Degree in Professional Development from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

“Every child has the ability to be successful and as educators, it is our responsibility to help them reach their full potential,” said Shirel. “I believe in being a servant leader, focusing on the needs of others, acknowledging their perspectives, and supporting them in accomplishing their goals. This leads to engagement, increases trust, and helps us to build stronger relationships and a powerful sense of community.”

Matt Kitzerow is the new principal of Longfellow Middle School. Kitzerow taught at the school for seven years before moving to the dean of students position at Logan Middle School last year. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. He earned his Master of Education Degree in Professional Development from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

“My years of teaching in Milwaukee and La Crosse have given me insight, training, and experience in meeting the unique needs of students with diverse backgrounds,” said Kitzerow. “I will work on equity within our schools not as an add on program but a redistribution of supports for all students.”

Jacquelyn Lyga was chosen as the new principal of State Road Elementary School. Lyga comes to La Crosse from the School District of Bangor where she served as the principal of Bangor Elementary School for the past eight years. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development and Family Life. Lyga earned her Master of Science Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

“To help students be successful, we have to believe we can be successful, and we must care deeply about the work on a day-to-day basis,” said Lyga. “I believe in the power of teachers. I will work with them to be the best they can, so they can help students be at their best as well.”

All three new leaders will begin their new roles on July 1, 2019.

“These three leaders are incredibly strong advocates for students,” said superintendent of schools Randy Nelson. “They all share a student-centered approach, keeping student success at the forefront of all decision-making. They join an amazing family of educators in our district that will continue our tradition of excellence and ensure quality, equitable, and innovative educational opportunities for all of our students.”

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