Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

School administrators leave Bay

by Chris Schultz

May 23, 2013

WILLIAMS BAY — Call it a clean slate or call it a double whammy, but both of Williams Bay’s top school officials tendered their resignations Monday night.

Williams Bay Superintendent Vance Dalzin announced that he was selected by the Fox Point-Bayside School Board as the new superintendent in the upscale, suburban Milwaukee school district.

Barry Butters, principal of Williams Bay Junior-Senior High School, resigned to take a position outside of public education with Precision Plus Inc., Elkhorn.

The Williams Bay School Board reluctantly accepted their resignations, both effective June 30. The board members will meet Thursday morning to begin setting criteria to find replacements for the two administrators.

According to the Fox Point-Bayside schools website, Dalzin was the unanimous choice of the Fox Point-Bayside board at its May 17 meeting.

Butters said he will establish education and training procedures in manufacturing for Precision Plus employees. He said he will be involved in recruitment, as well.

Dalzin and Butters both started in the Williams Bay district in August 2011. Butters took over for long-time principal Dan Bice, who retired after 21 years as principal, and Dalzin replaced Fred Vorlop, who stepped down as district superintendent after eight years.

Announcements when Bice and Vorlop were leaving didn’t seem to surprise many.

But Dalzin and Butters have had only two school years together in Williams Bay.

While their resignations didn’t exactly catch the board by surprise, board members said they were sorry to approve their departures.

“I want to thank these two gentlemen for all their work over the past two years,” said school board member Jim Pfeil. “I feel we’re a better district now than we were two years ago.”

Dalzin said the Fox Point-Bayside position was an opportunity he could not ignore.

Taking the job at Fox Point-Bayside did not indicate any unhappiness with Williams Bay, the schools, staff or board, he said.

The Williams Bay School Board is doing good things and Williams Bay remains a high quality school district, Dalzin told the board members.

“This resignation does not reflect any lack of support from the school board, Dr. Dalzin or the staff,” Butters said of his resignation.

He said that starting with Act 10, there are rules and regulations coming down from the state that will make it difficult for him to continue as principal.

“The staff here are very hard working and should be recognized as such,” Butters said. Yet, he said, the state Legislature continues to propose and pass new mandates for schools and teachers without providing the funding or resources necessary to carry them through.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain excellence,” he said.

Butters said he talked with the school board about his career change in April.

Dianna Woss, school board president, said she recognized that education professionals must take advantage of rare opportunities for growth and advancement.

Both administrators leave while the district studies whether to build a new elementary school near or as part of the junior-senior high school building at 500 Geneva St.

Woss said in an earlier interview that Dalzin had been open with the board about testing the waters at other districts.

In April, Dalzin was also among six semi-finalists for the superintendent’s position at the Greenfield School District. Greenfield is also a Milwaukee suburb.

Woss also said that, “in a perfect world,” it would be preferable to have Dalzin remain at least until the board decided what course it will take with the elementary school.

However, Woss said that the process of reviewing elementary school alternatives is started, and whether the district builds the new school is up to the district’s electors.

Before coming to Williams Bay, Butters was a math teacher in the Elkhorn School District. He had been a teacher at Elkhorn since 1994.

Butters was athletic director and an assistant principal at the Wilmot school district from 1987 to 1991 and then went to Viroqua, where he was a principal from 1991 to 1992.

He left Viroqua for family reasons and returned to Wilmot from 1992 to 1994 before taking the teaching position at Elkhorn.

The company he is going to, Precision Plus, makes precision parts for a variety of manufacturers, including those in the aerospace industry.

Before becoming superintendent of Williams Bay, Dalzin was high school principal for Whitewater Unified School District from 1999 to 2011, high school principal for Wilmot Union High School District from 1994 to 1999, and assistant principal for Wilmot from 1991 to 1994.

He grew up in the Milwaukee area and attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His graduate work was completed at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Edgewood College in Madison.

Fox Point-Bayside reviewed 28 candidates for superintendent and did an initial interview of six semi-finalists. Those six were whittled to three finalists.

Dalzin was interviewed twice by the Fox Point-Bayside school board, and once by a district group consisting of teachers, administrators, support staff and parents.

Fox Point-Bayside school board members also visited Williams Bay, where stakeholders in that district were interviewed.

“Dr. Dalzin told us he was attracted to our position because of the district’s tradition of high student achievement and its progressive approach to educating students,” Fox Point-Bayside School Board President Debbie Friberg said on a website post.

Dalzin will succeed Rachel Boechler, who in January announced her resignation, effective in August, to continue her work with Seattle-based nonprofit Center for Courage & Renewal.

The Fox Point-Bayside School District serves about 950 students in 4K through eighth grade in its two schools.