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UPDATE: Middleton-Cross Plains education director Briggs named Baraboo's next superintendent
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UPDATE: Middleton-Cross Plains education director Briggs named Baraboo's next superintendent

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Mike Kohlman asks a question during the Baraboo School Board meeting in February at the high school.

The Baraboo School Board chose Middleton-Cross Plains Elementary Education Director Rainey Briggs to become the Baraboo School District’s next superintendent.

Board Vice President Mike Kohlman announced the decision in an email to the News Republic Thursday night, three days after the board deliberated on it during a closed-session meeting.

“We are all excited to start working with Dr. Briggs to continue to move our district forward, and serve the students of Baraboo,” Kohlman wrote.

Briggs has seven years of teaching experience and nine years as an administrator, according to the announcement.

“He is a dynamic leader who is well known in the education community,” Kohlman wrote. “Many describe him as a ‘teacher of teachers.’ Our school district, staff, students, and administrators are all fortunate to learn under Dr. Briggs.”

Rainey Briggs


Briggs said in an email that he’s honored to have been chosen to lead the district.

“Throughout my interview process, it was very clear that Baraboo has a tradition of excellence which is due to all the hard-working staff members and this great community. I hope to continue this great tradition,” he wrote, adding that his mission is to “maintain and grow a rigorous teaching and learning environment where all students can flourish.”

He invoked the words of the late educator Rita Pierson: “Every child deserves a champion.”

A search committee consisting of Kohlman and fellow board members Kevin Vodak and Gwynne Peterson narrowed an original field of 29 applicants down to seven semifinalists, who were then interviewed by the full board and narrowed further to three finalists, including Briggs and current Montello District Administrator Margaret Banker. The third finalist, Sun Prairie High School Principal Keith Nerby, withdrew from consideration.

Briggs and Banker participated in three video question-and-answer sessions each for various stakeholder groups last week, which were made public online after they were completed. The videos are now blocked to the public.

The board expects to formally approve Briggs’ contract at a regular meeting Monday, according to Kohlman.

Current District Administrator Lori Mueller announced in November she will step down at the end of this school year to move to Florida and start a position with a private consulting firm.

Briggs said he’s planning to work with Mueller and the school board president ahead of his July 1 start date.

“I know what a great community this is and I am so grateful to be able to lead such a top-notch school district,” he wrote.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Rainey Briggs.

Follow Susan Endres on Twitter @EndresSusan or call her at 745-3506.


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Baraboo News Republic reporter

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