School board extends contract of interim superintendent

Robert Crist, Ed.D.

Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D.

DELAVAN —The Delavan-Darien School Board Monday, Nov. 12, voted unanimously to extend the contract of interim Superintendent Robert Crist, Ed.D., for one year.

He will be the district’s superintendent, under contract, through at least June 30, 2014. Also, “interim” was dropped from his title.

“The school board felt that since he has been here approximately three months, the district has made positive steps and is moving in the right direction,” School Board President Dr. Jeff Scherer said in a letter to all district staff. “A search for someone else now would be disruptive to the progress we have made.

“We think it is best for the district moving forward by keeping Dr. Crist as superintendent at least for another year beyond his initial contract.”

Crist, of Burlington, became interim superintendent in early August, following the May retirement of previous Delavan-Darien Superintendent Wendy Overturf, Ed.D.

Since his arrival, Crist has been working diligently with the district’s administrative team on implementing the community-created Delavan-Darien Strategic Plan.

The main focus of that long-range plan is to increase all student achievement at all levels through improved staff cooperation, staff development, community partnerships, student character development and student skills development.

“The community gave us a multi-faceted plan with many great ideas that will help our students succeed,” Crist said. “Quality thought went into the plan with the help of more than 100 individuals who support our school district. Carrying out the many parts of this plan over the long-term will bring many positive benefits to our students, staff and community.”

Crist has also offered “common sense” and “creative” solutions to district challenges that are not specifically addressed in the strategic plan, Scherer said.

Some ideas being explored include having later start-times to school days, schedule changes to the district’s 4-year-old kindergarten program, increasing student access to technology in classrooms, hiring more bilingual staff members, developing community-based adult-education courses, and considering year-round schooling.

“There is a lot of work ahead of us and I am delighted to be here to help lead these efforts,” Crist said. “I enjoy working with the staff and can see that we are well on our way to making continual improvements in the Delavan-Darien School District.”


About Dr. Robert Crist

Crist brings a wealth of experience to the superintendent post, having last been superintendent for Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools, a position he held from May 2007 until his retirement in June 2010.

Prior to his superintendency at Wisconsin Rapids, Crist held various administrative and teaching positions in both Wisconsin and Illinois.

He was the director of human resources at Wisconsin Rapids (2006-2007) before becoming superintendent there. Crist was principal at Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa, Ill. (2003-2006); the superintendent at Wilmot Union High School in Kenosha County (1999-2003); principal at McKinley Middle School in the Kenosha Unified School System (1992-1999); principal at Port Washington High School (1990-1992); directing principal of three sub-schools within Washington Park High School of the Racine Unified School System (1988-1990); principal at Elkhorn Area Middle School (1982-1988); principal/assistant principal at Iola-Scandinavia High School (1979-1982); assistant principal at Sauk Prairie High School (1978-1979); physical/health education teacher at Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha (1970-1978); and physical education teacher at Jerstad-Aggerholm Junior High School in Racine (1969-1970).

Crist also has coaching experience and played football for the semi-pro Racine Raiders team in the late 1960s and early 1970s and at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Crist earned his educational doctorate in Educational Administration from Nova Southeastern University in 1998. His master’s degree is in School Administration and Supervision from Roosevelt University (Chicago) in 1977. Crist earned his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a minor in Health Education from UW-La Crosse in 1969.

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