Lara Appointed to HSSD Board of Education


Suamico resident Maria M. Lara was appointed to the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education by unanimous vote at the Board’s June 11 meeting.

Lara received the third-highest vote total in the April 3 election, following current Board members Vanessa Moran and Jeff Eilers. She served on the Community Task Force for the successful 2018 referendum and is the mother of an eighth-grade student in the District. For more on Lara, see the campaign candidate coverage in The Press from the April election.

“I am grateful for the appointment to the Board of Education and I look forward to serving our community,” said Lara.

Lara fills the seat vacated by Laura Barnard who resigned due to a family move outside of District geographic boundaries. She will complete the remainder of Barnard’s term, which expires April 2019.


Walker and Wiebel Join HSSD Leadership Team

Walker Wiebel

The Howard-Suamico School District is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Becky Walker and Mr. Jonathan (Jo) Wiebel to its administrative leadership team. Dr. Walker will serve as the Assistant Superintendent of Academics and Innovation and Mr. Wiebel will join the Bay Port High School staff as an Associate Principal.

“Becky demonstrates a passionate commitment to coaching, development, and innovation in schools,” said HSSD Superintendent Damian LaCroix. “Her 20 years of leadership experience will be a tremendous asset for our staff, students, and community.”

Dr. Walker joins HSSD following three years as the Director of Learning Services at CESA 7 in Green Bay, serving 38 school districts throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Prior to her leadership role at CESA, Walker was an administrator for the Appleton Area School District for 18 years, serving as Director of Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction as well as an Associate Principal and Principal of Appleton East High School and the Tesla Engineering Charter.

“I am humbled and excited to lead learning for Howard-Suamico School District and to join such an amazing community,” said Walker. “I look forward to collaborating with educators, students, and families around flexible, innovative learning with goals of high expectations and success for all.”

Walker earned her Doctorate in Educational Administration and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Marian University. She completed her undergraduate degree at St. Norbert College in Mathematics, Computer Science, Spanish, and Education.

Mr. Wiebel joins the leadership team at Bay Port High School following 10 years as an administrator in the Green Bay Area Public School District, including the last six years as Principal of Edison Middle School. He earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he also completed his undergraduate degree in Public Administration.

“Jo brings a wealth of teaching and administrative experience at the middle and high school levels,” said LaCroix. “We anticipate his perspective and instructional leadership will have a significant impact at Bay Port.”

“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to join the students and staff at Bay Port,” said Wiebel. “I look forward to joining the Pirate Nation and building relationships within the Howard-Suamico community.”

Both leaders will fill their respective positions beginning July 1, 2018. Due to past budget reductions, the District’s Assistant Superintendent position had been vacant since 2017, while the Bay Port Associate Principal position had remained unfilled since 2011.


Smith Named Howard-Suamico Education Foundation Director

Smith HSEF Director

The Howard-Suamico Education Foundation (HSEF) Board is pleased to announce the selection of Nicole Smith as its first full-time Director. Founded in 1992 to provide financial support for teaching and learning in the Howard-Suamico School District, the HSEF identifies and cultivates community champions for the purposes of funding innovative projects, leadership development, educational enrichment and scholarship programs that benefit HSSD students.

In her new role, Smith will develop and nurture relationships with the community, businesses, families, and staff to create engagement in the purpose and vision of the foundation. She will oversee day-to-day operations of the foundation and serve as the liaison between the foundation board and the district.

“I am grateful for the community support of our schools and for the continued gifts of time and talent on our HSEF board,” said Smith. “I look forward to working with the board and our community to provide opportunities for students and staff to reach their full potential.”

“We are excited to have Nicole serve in this leadership role as an educator and a Bay Port alumna.” said HSEF vice-president Jayne McQuillan. “Our board is a growing group of passionate and engaged volunteers. Nicole’s vision and dedication will expand the influence and impact of the HSEF in our district and community.”

The HSEF will welcome Smith to the Director role July 2 following 10 years as a teacher in the Howard-Suamico School District, most recently on the Gifted and Talented team with whom she was a Golden Apple award recipient last year. Smith began her teaching career in third grade at Meadowbrook Elementary. She is a 2008 St. Norbert College graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and is also a 2004 graduate of Bay Port High School.

Smith and her husband, Billy, own and operate Bearcat’s Fish House in Algoma, Wis. They are proud parents of two daughters and a son.


Ford Selected HSSD Board of Education President

Theresa Ford

Teresa Ford was elected to serve as president of the Howard-Suamico School District Board of Education by a unanimous vote of its members Monday, April 23, 2018 during the Board’s reorganization meeting.

Ford has served on the HSSD Board of Education for 13 years.

The Board also unanimously elected Mark Ashley as vice president, Rachelle Paulsen as clerk, and Garry Sievert as treasurer/deputy clerk.

Prior to the election of officers, the Board also seated new member, Vanessa Moran, who won her seat on April 3. Incumbent Board member Jeff Eilers was also sworn in for his third term in office.