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James Feil is Manitowoc Public School District interim superintendent | #Education

MANITOWOC – Manitowoc Public School District on Friday named an interim superintendent who will serve for one year while a search for a permanent superintendent is conducted.

James Feil, current superintendent of the Montello School District in central Wisconsin, was selected as interim superintendent after the district worked with search firm School Exec Connect.

The district’s Board of Education interviewed six candidates June 2 and June 7 before offering the position to Feil, a news release said.

Feil previously served as president of Urban Day School in Milwaukee and as superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools in Traverse City, Michigan. 

“We are excited to have Jim joining our team,” MPSD Board President Stacey Soeldner said in the news release. “He will be able to lead Manitowoc Public Schools during this upcoming school year.”

The school board will meet Tuesday to finalize the details of the contract with Feil, which will begin July 1, the news release said.

Feil will take the place of Mark Holzman, who has served as superintendent of the MPSD since July 2015. Holzman is leaving the district to serve as superintendent of the School District of Janesville.

Manitowoc Schools Superintendent Mark Holzman speaks during graduation at Manitowoc Lincoln, Friday, June 11, 2021, in Manitowoc, Wis.

The announcement of Holzman’s departure came in April, days after three new school board members were elected to the Manitowoc school board. Matthew Phipps, Matthew Spaulding and Tony Vlastelica replaced Lisa Johnston, Meredith Sauer and Dave Nickels on the board in that election.

In an emailed statement to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Rory Linnane after the April 5 election, the Republican Party of Wisconsin celebrated Manitowoc schools as now having a “fully conservative board.” 

The statement came as Republicans throughout Wisconsin celebrated big wins in conservative districts in the April 5 election, particularly with school boards in Wausau, Waukesha, Elmbrook and others.

More: Manitowoc school district readies for new direction under ‘fully conservative board’ as superintendent plans to leave.

More: Manitowoc Lincoln High School’s athletic director Dave Steavpack is retiring. Here’s who will take his place.

Nickels, who served as school board president, told the Herald Times Reporter in April that people had expressed their displeasure with Holzman at public school board meetings and through social media. He said a few school board members also tried to remove Holzman from his role. 

Holzman and the Manitowoc school board have been under fire from local citizens who disagree with the school’s COVID-19 protocols, and who are concerned about low test scores and disruptive behavior from students.

Thursday was the last day of school in the district and Lincoln High School’s graduation was set for Friday afternoon. Aug. 30 will be the first day of school for all students in the 2022-2023 school year.

Contact Brandon Reid at 920-686-2984 or breid@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @breidHTRNews.




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