Sparta Superintendent hopes to move district forward

Sam Russ says he is willing to listen to all concerns and ideas

SPARTA, Wis. (WKBT) — The new superintendent of the Sparta Area School District says his door is open and he will work to gain the community’s trust.

The school board named former high school principal Sam Russ superintendent in July.

Russ replaced Amy Van Deuren. Van Deuren resigned after an outside investigator found she repeatedly violated the district’s anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. Russ is also taking over after a failed spring referendum and the closure of Cataract Elementary School.

Russ says he is meeting with staff and community members to hear their concerns and ideas. He’s no stranger to the district and plans to use what he’s learned from former and current students to move Sparta schools forward.

“I’ve learned a lot from the kids and what they want to see. What their priorities are. And by listening to the staff and giving them a voice to feel valued. And making sure they have an idea and if its a great idea they feel supported in that,” Russ explained.

The upcoming school year for the Sparta District starts on September 1.

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