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Former board member hired by Brown Deer School District

Stresman quit shortly before being hired

Sept. 6, 2011

Brown Deer - The School Board appointed former member Kathy Stresman to a newly created part-time position, community and family outreach coordinator, on Aug. 30. Stresman resigned from the board at the conclusion of its July 26 meeting after more than five years of service.

At the August meeting, the board both approved the position and then appointed Stresman.

Superintendent of Schools Deb Kerr said Stresman was the only candidate interviewed for the position, which was not posted.

Stresman will create family and parent outreach programs and activities, assist the school district in maximizing all students learning by developing internal and external relationships that foster positive communication and help develop an education foundation, according to the job description.

Part of Stresman's job will be aimed at identifying and aiding families with preschool children whose language skills lag behind their peers, Kerr said.

Background in social service

Stresman's background includes work in a number of social service and school situations. She is currently the program director for the Blue Lotus Farm & Retreat Center in Newburg. She is a certified school guidance counselor who worked as an elementary school counselor at Indian Hill School in River Hills from 2005-2007.

In addition to certification as a guidance counselor earned at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she has a bachelor's of science degree in education with a major in school health and biology and a master's of science degree in community health, both from the University of Minnesota-Mankato.

Asked if she left the board in order to apply for vacant guidance positions in the school district, Stresman said she would talk about the position she has accepted but would not discuss any other jobs she has sought in Brown Deer or elsewhere.

"I worked very hard as a School Board member for five years and it personally was time to make a change," she said. Her term expires in April 2012.

NOW has filed an open records request with the district asking for the names of applicants for guidance positions filled between May and the end of August.

Superintendent targeted Stresman

Stresman said she did not know about the part-time community outreach position until she received a phone call Aug. 23. She interviewed that day, she said.

Kerr said she did not post the position because she knew she had a qualified candidate in Stresman.

Finance Director Emily Koczela said the 2011-2012 budget did not include the position when presented to the board in June. It will be partially financed by Title 1 funding, she said.

Stresman will work 18 to 20 hours a week at a rate of $20 an hour. She will not receive any retirement or health insurance benefits. She started Sept. 6.

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