Greetings from your principal

In an effort to make connections with new families, reconnect with existing families, and make some deposits in emotional bank accounts, I sent the following email out to all the parents in my school yesterday. I’ve already heard back from quite a few parents with appreciation for the message and compliments for our school.


Dear Northern Hills Parents,

I hope the reports from your kids to you about the first few days have been good ones. I know that my reports to my family about your kids have been very positive! It is common for teachers to send a note home to students during the summer introducing themselves to their new students and their families. So before the beginning of the school year gets too far away, I wanted to do the same thing with this email to all of you. I make it a point to chat with parents as much as possible during arrival and dismissal times, but I know that some of your work schedules don’t always allow you time to get through our doors on a regular basis. I want you all to be comfortable enough to stop by, give me a call, or send me an email if I can ever do anything for you and your children.

A bit about me…

My family and I live in south La Crosse near the ski hill. My wife Keely is a professor of health education at UWL and we have two children. My son Gavin is a 4th grader and daughter Harper is in kindergarten–both at Southern Bluffs Elementary. A new member joining our family this summer is a fluffy little dog named Moshi.

This school year is my 9th year in the School District of Onalaska, and it is my 8th year as the principal at Northern Hills. Before coming to NH, I was the associate principal at Eagle Bluff for a year. Before we moved to La Crosse in 2003, Keely and I lived and worked in Illinois, New Mexico, and South Dakota (my home state).

I greatly enjoy working in the field of education–so much so that I also teach a graduate class at UWL for teachers. I also teach 4th/5th grade Sunday School at my church. One of my students in Sunday School this year is my son. I love having him in my class, but I’m not sure he shares that same opinion. 😉

My work and family activities certainly keep me busy, but I always make time to go fishing, especially for trout. This part of Wisconsin has fabulous trout fishing and I’m always eager to have others join me. If you’ve ever wanted to try trout fishing or just want to discover some great local places to relax in nature, let me know. I also write the newsletter for the Coulee Region chapter of Trout Unlimited. I enjoy sharing stories about fishing, and most of them are true.

Onalaska is a great district and community in which to work, and it’s especially enjoyable to work with the students, parents, and staff of Northern Hills. Like I stated above, if there is anything I can do to help you and your children with school, please let me know. I’m good at responding to emails in a timely manner, but you can also call me. My school number is below, but you can also reach me at 608-317-3747.

Take care,