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0756, 17 Apr 20

West Bend School District Slams Through New Superintendent

They announced finalists on Tuesday and the selection was made on Thursday. So much for public input, getting to know the community, listening sessions, or any of the other things that usually happen. It looks like the disregard for the public isn’t just coming from Madison.

WEST BEND — The West Bend Joint School District #1 School Board has announced that a contract for superintendent of the district has been offered to Jennifer Wimmer.

According to a press release from the district, the board chose Wimmer due to her broad and established instructional leadership experience, in-depth expertise in instructional strategies, strength in collaboration and focus on increasing student learning. Once a contract has been approved, her start date will be July 1.


Wimmer has been the superintendent of the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District in Fox Point for six years. She has also worked in the School District of Waukesha in various roles including assistant superintendent of student services, director of instruction, and executive director of elementary education. She has also been an elem entary school principal and a middle school associate principal. She began her career as a special education teacher. Wimmer earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and a superintendent licensure from Cardinal Stritch University and will receive her doctorate in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University this year.

Never heard of the Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District before? That’s because it’s a tiny K-8 district with two buildings and about 400 total students. It’s about 6% the size of the West Bend School District.

Other than that, we don’t know much about Wimmer. We don’t have any impression of her personality, goals, communication skills, priorities, financial acumen, or anything else. The public has not been given any information other than a skeletal resume and a press release. She has been given no opportunity to connect with the community or vice versa. I hope she’s successful, but she is entering the district being set up to fail.

One thing we do know is that the Wimmer shepherded the passage of an operational and capital referendum in her district last year. She’s not sticking around to deal with the community when they get their tax increases this year. But perhaps the board liked the fact that she was able to convince the taxpayers to raise their own taxes.


0756, 17 April 2020


  1. Mark Hoefert

    She did hold several upper level positions at Waukesha School District, which is twice the size of West Bend, so perhaps with that experience she will be your “diamond in the rough.”  If she engages with and respects community stakeholders perhaps she will have a bright future in West Bend.

    Am curious about how the other candidate came to be one of the finalists, considering the drama documented in a federal court case against the school district.  Yet, according to the PR release we hear that “This productive process has led to an outstanding couple of finalists.”

  2. Merlin

    Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District is best known to the public for the speed trap in front of their Indian Hill School on Brown Deer Road. Being ticketed for speeding in a school zone is how you find out that place next to the park & ride is actually an elementary school.

  3. Charlie Hillman

    Seems like a good choice to me. Must have been a tough process with limited face to face.

    Mark is right – her Waukesha experience prepares her for the general political feel of West Bend. And regardless of the District size, a Superintendent must deal with the exact same issues and responsibilities.

    Owen, I hope you are honest in your wish that she is successful and that you and Judy give her a chance before sharpening the knives.


  4. Owen

    Well, of the six most recent superintendents, there’s only one who I strongly disagreed with. I’ve even complimented Kirkegaard on his management even as I disagreed with the policies he was charged with implementing. Your supposition that I reflexively throw shade on superintendents is unfounded.

    As for whether this one is a good pick or not… I have no idea. We’ve known about her for about a week now. I don’t have enough information to form an opinion.

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