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Green Bay school board selects superintendent finalists

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – And then there were two.

Following months of work and two days of interviews, the Green Bay school board has narrowed down the pool of candidates to two superintendent finalists – Stephen Murley and Sonia Stewart.

“After spending the last five months building a profile, recruiting, reviewing applicants and interviewing a slate of candidates, we are excited to present two highly-qualified candidates with extensive leadership experience,” said Trustee Eric Vanden Heuvel, who led the superintendent search. “We look forward to further exploration of these individuals and gaining staff and community feedback before making our final decision.”

Murley currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Iowa City Community School District, in Iowa, where he’s held the position since 2010.

But he is no stranger to Wisconsin – attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and serving as the Superintendent of Schools for the Wausau School District from 2005 to 2010.

“Steve Murley has extensive experience as a superintendent in Wisconsin and Iowa and has led several large scale changes that are of interest to our district,” Vanden Heuvel said. “He brings systems knowledge and a strong operational background.”

Stewart has more than two decades of experience as a secondary teacher and administrator throughout the country, currently serving as the executive officer of organizational development for the Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee.

“Sonia Stewart has worked in a large urban system and understands the complexity that trauma plays in an educational environment.” Vanden Heuvel said. “She has done the work, led effectively and is passionate about addressing opportunity gaps.”

Stewart holds a doctorate of education, which she obtained from Vanderbilt University in Nashville in 2015.

Next steps

Lori Blakeslee, director of communications for the district, said the superintendent finalists will each have a “day in the district,” which will be scheduled on Feb. 19 and 20.

More details on the day-long visits will be available online, gbaps.org/superintendentsearch, as they are scheduled.
Further details on each finalist can also be found on this page.

The board worked with Hazard Young Attea & Associates to help conduct the superintendent search.

The board received 25 applications.

Trustees interviewed seven of those candidates earlier this week before narrowing it down to Murley and Stewart.

Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld announced last year that she would be retire at the end of the 2019-20 school year.

Langenfeld became the district’s first female superintendent in 2011.

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