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De Pere selects new superintendent

By Press Times Staff

DE PERE – The De Pere School District has selected its new leader.

Dr. Christopher Thompson has been chosen to lead the Redbirds, replacing current Superintendent Ben Villarruel, who will retire this summer after holding the position for 21 years.


Thompson comes from Rosholt, where he has served as superintendent of the Rosholt School District since March 2019.

Before that post, Thompson served in the same district as assistant superintendent. 

Prir to his time in Rosholt, Thompson was executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Racine School District.


Thompson earned his doctorate in education from Edgewood College in Madison.

He has a master’s degree in education, focused on administrative leadership and supervision from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Thompson also holds a bachelor’s degree in music from St. Norbert College. 

School Board President David Youngquist said he appreciated the many people who participated in the nine-month superintendent search. 

“I, and my fellow board members, are grateful for the many hours devoted by our staff, families, students and community members who participated in surveys and candidate forums, as well as providing direct communication to us throughout the superintendent search process,” he said.

Youngquist also praised Villarruel’s leadership during his 21-year tenure.

“Under Ben’s direction, De Pere has performed exceptionally well in terms of student achievement, professional staff development, financial stability, growth management and more,” he said. “We sincerely appreciate his stewardship of our school community over the past two decades.”

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