"Day in the District" visits begin in search for new Madison School District superintendent

Published: Jan. 14, 2020 at 10:34 PM CST
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It’s been nearly three weeks since dozens of applicants for the Madison School District superintendent job were narrowed down to just three finalists.

Now the public is getting the chance to hear from each candidate. As part of “Day in the District” events, each candidate will participate in a public forum where they will introduce themselves, talk about what their goals are for the district, and answer questions from the audience.

The public forums kicked off Tuesday night with finalist Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard. She is currently Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York. Before that, Vanden Wyngaard served as superintendent for the City School District of Albany, until 2018. During the forum she took questions from the crowd, speaking about the importance of inclusion and diversity in the classroom, social justice, and always putting students first.

She also shared thoughts about school resource officers. “It isn’t a matter of a school resource officer being in proximity, it’s the role of the officer. I’ve been in districts with school resource officers but we have a protocol for when that school resource officer is utilized.” Vanden Wyngaard says she doesn’t have a clear understanding if that protocol currently exists and where the line is. She says she has no problem with police in schools as long as they are positively impacting students. She also said unless felon action is taken, police shouldn’t be called and security should handle issues such as fights.

Vanden Wyngaard has ties to Wisconsin. She began her teaching career in Racine in the 1980’s. The public will hear from the other two finalists with Dr. Matthew Gutierrez Tuesday and Dr. George Eric Thomas on Thursday.

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