DELAVAN — Delavan-Darien High School’s student conduct and attendance issues, as well as teacher evaluations and other administrative work, will be met head on this coming school year with a new team of associate principals and a newly-created dean of students position.
Joining the district this year are Amy Vesperman and Dean Furton, who will be associate principals. DDHS special education teacher Amanda Urmanski will take on the new role of dean of students.
Also, the job duties of existing DDHS associate principals Craig Lodahl and Kevin Parker will shift.
Lodahl, who was an associate principal and athletics director last year, will be an associate principal focusing on athletics/activities director work while also conducting teacher evaluations and going back into the classroom to teach two upper-level science courses.
Parker will be an associate principal at Phoenix Middle School this upcoming school year, focusing on student attendance and conduct issues, as well as conducting teacher evaluations. He has prior experience as a middle school principal before joining the Delavan-Darien School District in 2011.
Vesperman, Furton and Urmanski will primarily handle DDHS student conduct and attendance issues, as well as continued implementation of Response to Intervention and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (Comet Code) programming at the school. Vesperman and Furton, who hold administrative licenses with the state, may also conduct teacher observations and evaluations, and handle other administrative duties that require a license, such as overseeing student Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings.
“I want the administrative team at DDHS to be known for their fairness and for having a deep concern for every single student and their success,” Superintendent Robert Crist said. “The associate principals and the dean will be a part of a team — along with the school principal, teachers, guidance staff, the school psychologist and the career and occupation director — that focuses on making sure our graduates are college and career ready, not only academically, but also by demonstrating outstanding character.”
The new administrators at DDHS have a varied background that should help meet district goals toward that end.
Urmanski, who has been a special education teacher at DDHS since 2010, said she’s excited to start in her new role.
“I have a love for teaching skills over content,” she said. “I like teaching the strategies kids need to be successful. This job gives me that ability to do that full time. I can help them be successful in the classroom areas by helping teach them life skills.”
Urmanski worked previously in the Rice Lake School District as a middle school special education teacher. She has a degree in special education from UW-Whitewater and licenses in cross categorical, learning disabilities and emotional behavioral disabilities. She has worked on the district’s strategic planning teams (initial team and an action team), the staff climate survey development team, the district continuous improvement committee, and DDHS staff teams that did work on Authentic Intellectual Work and ensuring graduation rates improve for students with disabilities.
Vesperman comes to the district with years of teaching and administrative experience.
Her last job was with the Germantown School District, where she was the dean of students at Kennedy Middle School. She was the curriculum coordinator and a fifth grade teacher for Fall River Schools for 10 years prior to her time in Germantown. She also has high school and middle school teaching experience from time spent in New Berlin schools, Waterloo schools, Hartford High School, Mukwonago High School, Oconomowoc High School, Fall River High School, and Belmont High School/Middle School.
Vesperman has coached student athletes at both the middle and high school levels as well as her fellow teaching professionals as part of school RtI and curriculum development teams in her previous districts.
Furton’s role as associate principal is his first in administrative ranks. He has five years math teaching experience at nearby Badger High School in Lake Geneva. He was also an Upward Bound teacher in Appleton and student taught in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. He was actively involved at Badger on the school’s PBIS committee, leadership team, academy team for alternative education, ACT prep team, Common Core alignment team and he coached junior varsity basketball and freshman baseball.