KUSD Superintendent Dr. Sue Savaglio-Jarvis has announced her retirement from the district effective June 30, 2021. Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis has been an exemplary leader in KUSD since August 2005, providing excellence in education in several progressive leadership roles. During her tenure, she served as assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, and most recently superintendent of the third-largest district in Wisconsin.
During the course of her superintendency, Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis guided the district in an outstanding manner. Her duties included overseeing and guiding many departments, including Communications, Educational Accountability and Information Services, Finance, Human Resources, School Leadership and Teaching and Learning. Under her strong leadership, KUSD increased student achievement and graduation rates, moving the district closer to achieving its mission of becoming Wisconsin’s top urban district.
In a year unlike any other, Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis served as the district's shepherd. Together with the Board of Education, she guided the district through the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic while successfully implementing the Return 2020 plan that afforded families the choice of either in-person or virtual learning for their children. She worked tirelessly to ensure students, families and staff received exceptional customer service in order to meet their needs. Her work continues as she oversees this work to create the new Better Together 2021-22 plan for the upcoming school year.
Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis said, “For the past 16 years it has been my honor to serve this great community. However, prior to my father’s passing, he encouraged me to slow down and enjoy life because time moves far too fast. It is this wisdom that prompted my decision.” She added, “I will miss the relationships and above all seeing each student grow and achieve year after year. Our students are truly amazing and routinely demonstrate talent in all they do – from academics to fine arts to athletics.”
In addition to her daily duties, Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis has supported multiple community organizations, such as Building Our Future, Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Kiwanis, Rotary and others, in a variety of capacities.
Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis shared, “KUSD has been lauded for its stellar reputation, and in the last seven years we are known across the state for high student performance, innovative teaching, engaging extracurricular activities, and award-winning fine arts and athletic programs. From our dedicated staff, and building administrators, to our families and business professionals who are the backbone of this wonderful District, we have many individuals who are committed to our students, community and the mission of public education.” She added, “It has been breathtaking to witness everyone’s extraordinary efforts over the past seven years and has made me proud and humbled every day to come to work and do my part.”
Some of the district’s notable accomplishments that occurred under her leadership include the creation and/or implementation of:
- 1:1 device program
- First employee handbook
- New teacher salary structure post-ACT 10
- African American Youth Initiative
- Equity Team
- Recruitment and Retention Committee
- Educator Rising Program
- ALiCE (alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate)
- Multi-level systems support team (MLSS)
- $17 million athletic stadium referendum
- Refreshed strategic plan and goals
Board President Yolanda Adams shared, “The efforts put forth by Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis the past seven school years is greatly appreciated by many. She is very well liked, and we wish her the very best in her retirement.”
Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis’s announcement follows that of Susan Valeri, chief of school leadership, who also announced her retirement effective June 30, 2021. In preparation for these announcements and big shifts in leadership for KUSD, the Board of Education has secured Dr. Bethany Ormseth, current director of LakeView, to serve as interim superintendent and William Haithcock, current principal of Harborside Academy, to serve as interim chief of school leadership effective July 1, 2021. Interim appointments for their principal positions are pending. The Board also plans to embark on a superintendent search in the near future in order to permanently fill the role as quickly as possible.
Dr. Savaglio-Jarvis concluded with, “KUSD is my home and I love this district like no other. It was an honor to return to Kenosha in 2005 and I am most grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this extraordinary school district. I am beyond proud of the work we’ve accomplished as a team and look forward to watching KUSD flourish for many years to come.”