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Middle School Principal Finds New Career in Higher Education

After seven years in Whitefish Bay, Lisa Gies will leave at the end of the school year to co-chair the Master's in Educational Leadership program at Cardinal Stritch University.

After a long career in public education and seven years at Whitefish Bay Middle School, Principal Lisa Gies has announced she will step down at the end of the year to pursue a career at the university level.

On Aug. 1, Gies begins her new job as the co-chair of the Master's in Educational Leadership program at , the same program where she received her Ph.D.

As the co-chair of the program, she will work with teachers who want to be principals or curriculum directors to give them the leadership tools they need for the next rung of their career ladder. She said she will take over full responsibility for the program after the current chair retires at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

Gies said the new opportunity will allow her to go back to her teaching roots, while pursuing her goal of working at a university. After spending her entire career at the middle school level, though, she said she will miss watching elementary school kids transform into high school students.

"I’m going to miss the kids," she said. "I love the energy of a middle school student, how they change almost hourly before you. The changes they go through in middle school take place at a faster rate than any other stage of childhood development."

Before she came to nearly seven years ago, Gies served as principal of JR Gerritts Middle School in Kimberly for 12 years. Before that, she taught social studies at the junior high level.

She will still be around through June to say her goodbyes, but in a phone call Tuesday afternoon, Gies said she cannot thank the Whitefish Bay community enough for its support of the schools.

"It has been a wonderful place to work because of how much the parents and community support and value public education," she said. "This has been a wonderful supportive community."

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