By Luke Klink
The Ladysmith School Board is beginning a search for a new school district administrator, marking the final step of totally overhauling its administrative leaders for the coming school year.
The Eau Claire School District announced last week current Ladysmith School District Administrator Paul Uhren will be hired as new principal at Eau Claire South Middle School. If approved by the Eau Claire School Board, Uhren will take the new position starting Aug. 1.
The Ladysmith School Board will hold a special board meeting on Wednesday, July 10 to discuss their next steps in finding an interim district administrator. That meeting’s only topic will be that. The board will still hold its regular meeting on Wednesday, July 17.
Uhren said he is looking forward to his new position as the South Middle School Principal in the Eau Claire Area School District, where he will have a direct impact on student learning.
“It was my intent to retire from the School District of Ladysmith, however events occur that helped me put many things into perspective,” Uhren said. “I will never forget the experiences that I had serving the students and the entire community of the School District of Ladysmith. Having the chance to work with some of my former teachers has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and an exciting one.”
Uhren identified three of those teachers, specifically Karen Ek, Joe Baye and John Telitz.
“Being a district administrator is an extremely stressful position, much more stressful than most people will ever know,” Uhren said. “That stress took a toll on my health and therefore the need for the change in position. Looking back, I missed the daily contact of working with students.”
“I know that was when I felt I had made the most impact on students. Being a district administrator is a managerial position. I want to be an educational leader. As a principal once again, I can be that educational leader,” Uhren said.
Uhren was hired Ladysmith School District administrator in March 2015. Uhren, 53, is a native of Hawkins. He graduated from Ladysmith High School in 1984.
Uhren was previously director of teaching and learning in the Ellsworth Community School District and principal of a middle school in the Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District.
The Ladysmith School Board recently approved a new contract and pay raises for its administrators, including Uhren.
One of Uhren’s two children graduated from Eau Claire North High School, and he is returning to Eau Claire as a new grandfather to be closer to family, according to the school district.
Uhren holds a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in professional development and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, both from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He received a district administrator certificate from Winona State University and a director of instruction certificate from Viterbo University. He has almost 30 years of experience in education.
The Eau Claire School Board is scheduled to vote on Uhren’s appointment at its July 22 meeting.
Since 2008, the Ladysmith School District has had five top administrators. The position has been held by Mario Friedel, Chris Poradish, Kurt Lindau, Al Brown and Uhren.