BELOIT - When school starts Sept. 3, students and families will see many new faces in leadership at the School District of Beloit.
Converse Elementary School and Fruzen Intermediate School have new permanent principals and Gaston Elementary School has a new interim principal. There are eight new assistant principals in the district.
"I am very excited to work with our admin team this year. We have a strong group of instructional leaders with a variety of experiences and areas of expertise. I am confident that each building has a highly skilled leadership team that is committed to meeting the needs of all learners and supporting our staff and families," said Executive Director of School Leadership and Equity Peggy Muehlenkamp.
Converse has a new principal, Leah Gordon Malott. Malott has been in the School District of Beloit for 21 years. She taught for 19 years, teaching from kindergarten through fifth grade at Converse, Robinson and Aldrich. Her most recent assignment was spent as the assistant principal at Aldrich Intermediate School. Her goals are to ensure high academic achievement, build a positive culture at the school, support staff, encourage family connections and maintain a high level of safety for students.
Fruzen's new principal is Sara Norton-Ejnik. Norton-Ejnik has seven years of teaching experience at both rural and urban high schools and 17 years of administration experience in public schools in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
"What first drew me to the School District of Beloit was their phrase 'Thinking beyond now.' I truly believe we shape the future through education so we must be purposeful and thoughtful about where we want to go and creative enough to get there," Norton-Ejnik said.
Gaston's has an interim principal, Fonda Lewis. Lewis has been in public education since 1999, starting as a fourth grade teacher in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Since 2002, she served the Stoughton Area School District as a first, second and fourth grade teacher, new teacher mentor and Dean of Students.
Lewis said she is thrilled to be joining the upbeat, positive and diverse community in Beloit. Her first goal is to build connections with all students, families and staff. She said she looks forward to supporting a joyful school along with prioritizing high expectations for student learning.
Sinem Bertling is the new assistant principal at Aldrich Intermediate School. She has 15 years of professional experience in K-12 school districts as a school counselor and administrator in Turkey and Wisconsin. For six years she worked as a youth advocate and educator in the violence prevention field for Family Services of Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.
Jeffery Straus is the assistant principal at Beloit Memorial High School. He previously worked as an English learner instruction manager at Craig High School in Janesville; English learner teacher in Jackson Elementary and Van Buren Elementary in Janesville; bilingual paraprofessional in New London High School in New London, Wisconsin; and English as a foreign language teacher in Santiago, Chili.
Jennifer Schieve is an assistant principal at Fruzen. Schieve's worked in the School District of Beloit as a teacher since 2007.
Chamari Moore will be assistant principal at Hackett Elementary school. Her work history is as follows: 2009-2011, kindergarten and second and third grade teacher in Milwaukee; 2011-2018, third grade teacher at Gaston; 2018-2019, behavior specialist at Gaston.
Brian Lundeen is assistant principal at McNeel Intermediate School. He was a physics teacher at Winnebago High School, Rockford Auburn High School and Huntley High School. He was the Science Division chair at Hampshire High School.
Kari Oscar is an assistant principal at Merrill Elementary School. She's taught third, fourth and fifth grade at different points over the past eight years. Last year, she worked as a behavior specialist. This will be her 10th year in education.
Carmen Brito Rieselbach will be assistant principal at Robinson Elementary School. She has worked for the Madison Metropolitan School District and with academic faculty with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She was an instructor and evaluator with CESA 6 for the Teaching Certification Program. She was a teacher, modern languages department chair and ESL high school program director/parent coordinator with the Burlington School District. She was also an international educational consultant and district instructional/educator effectiveness coach with Racine Unified School District. In addition, she worked as a language instructor, foreign service interviewer and technical trainer with the US Peace Corps and the US Agency for International Development.
Andrea Heckner will be assistant principal at Todd Elementary School. She was a reading specialist with the School District of Beloit 2014-2019; and special education teacher with Kenosha Unified School District 2004-2014.