Todd Mann, who has been the principal at Sunset Ridge Elementary School since 2002, announced this week that he will retire at the end of the school year.
Mann informed District administrators at the leadership team meeting on Wednesday and Sunset Ridge staff after school on Thursday. A letter was sent home about the news to Sunset Ridge families on Thursday night.
"It has been a privilege serving as principal of Sunset Ridge the past 15 years,'' said Mann, who plans to move to his lake home near his hometown in northwest Minnesota. "I have greatly enjoyed interacting with students, parents and families. And my staff has been the best. I have so many fond memories. Every day has been wonderful and a joy.''
Superintendent George Mavroulis, who attended the announcement to staff along with Assistant Superintendent Sherri Cyra, said the job will be posted on Jan. 6 and the Board of Education is expected to approve the retirement at its regular meeting on Jan. 9. The first round of interviews is scheduled to take place on Feb. 16 with interviews for finalists taking place on March 1.
Cyra encouraged all Sunset Ridge staff members to participate in the process. An online form will be shared asking staff to identify what characteristics they want in their next principal. Staff members will also participate in the interviews. Finalists will also tour the school and meet with staff and parents in forums after school.
The process the District plans to use is very similar to the one implemented during West Middleton's search for a new elementary principal last year, although Cyra noted that schedule was condensed because the process didn't begin until May.
The District plans to post the opening in Education Week and on a number of organizational websites. Mavroulis also encouraged staff to reach out to educators who would want to work in the District.
"The bigger the pool the better,'' he said. "We're looking for exceptional, not just competent. We know we are an attractive district and Sunset Ridge is a great place.''
Sunset Ridge was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012. The program recognizes public and private K-12 schools based on overall academic excellence or progress closing achievement gaps. Sunset Ridge is one of just 13 schools in Dane County to receive the honor since it was implemented in 1982.
He was the principal at Pedersen Elementary in Altoona for three years before joining the District. He was also the principal at North Hudson Elementary for three years, co-principal at Community Elementary in Edgerton for four years and principal of Central and Pelican Elementary in Rhinelander for two years.
Before becoming a principal, Mann was an elementary teacher in Rapid City, S.D., and Kemmerer, Wyo.
Mann earned his bachelor's degree in elementary education from Mayville State College in North Dakota and his master's degree in educational administration from the University of Wyoming.
"It's a great opportunity for the Mann family and for the Sunset Ridge family,'' Mavroulis said at the staff meeting on Thursday. "This is Todd's legacy. Thank you for leaving us this incredible group of educators.''