by Superintendent Luke Francois, Ed.D.
Seven years ago, Superintendent Terry Hemann asked me to consider applying to Mineral Point as he was returning to his home state of Iowa. Initially, I declined the offer as I was not seeking a change in job status, did not wish to relocate our home, the commute was too far, and I lacked experience. The following week, Terry returned stating that there was not a residency requirement, the commute was only 45 miles, and since I was a former wrestler, the position was a good fit, and he again encouraged that I apply. I am forever thankful that Terry was persistent in his efforts to pursue me as his replacement, and for the board that placed their trust in me with a vote of confidence to serve Mineral Point as the next school Superintendent.
Mineral Point has been extremely good to my family and me for the past seven years, and I was energized by the possibilities in 2018-2019. A recent change in professional circumstances led me to explore a different position. After reflection and careful consideration, I verbally accepted an offer to serve as the Executive Director of Business Services in the Sauk Prairie School District. Joining the Sauk Prairie School District will reduce my commute and allow me to regain time with family, lessen my responsibilities, and afford me the opportunity to be mentored by a servant leader, Superintendent Cliff Thompson.
As I reflect on my tenure in Mineral Point schools, a few highlights include:
2011 Implemented an employee handbook in a post Act 10 environment.
2012 Organized and led a successful $1.1 million recurring referendum.
2013 Wrote a successful grant for new elementary school playground equipment and was 1 of 44 schools nationwide to implement Project Lead the Way Launch program at the elementary school level.
2014 Received an award for SMART Boards and doc cameras in every classroom and introduced telepresence units.
2015 Introduced Instructional Coaching. DPI recognized school demonstrating high reading
achievement growth for students with disabilities.
2016 Awarded grant through USDA for Distance Learning and telepresence. Installed dark
fibre from Hwy. 151 to the high school to remove Charter carrier expenses.
2017 Acknowledged by DPI for accountability rating, overall significantly exceeding
expectations for the second year in a row, 2nd highest K-12 in Wisconsin.
2017 Implemented one-to-one MacBook Airs.
2017 Named Wisconsin Rural School Administrator of the Year.
2018 Mineral Point Elementary recognized nationally as a Professional Learning Community school.
2018 Studied and made recommendations regarding aging elementary building and
infrastructure utilizing a Community Planning Committee.
2018 Opened Community Stadium (anticipated Fall 2018).
Over my tenure, the district has a higher fund balance, lower mill rate, created a long-term capital trust fund, increased communications and transparency, compensated staff, retained benefits, and provided resources that elevated the district to state-wide recognition. I also remember my service fondly to the Mineral Point Chamber, Library Board, and Kiwanis.
What I will cherish most, though, are the many great staff members and people in Mineral Point who befriended me with kindness and grace. It is the people who make Mineral Point special.