Outgoing Westosha Central district administrator Dr. Scott Pierce (top) turned over his job to interim administrator Milton Thompson in December (Gail Peckler-Dziki/The Report).

Scott Pierce concludes 11-year tenure at Central

By Gail Peckler-Dziki

District Administrator Dr. Scott Pierce has attended his last Westosha Central School Board meeting.

“Eleven years is a rather long time for an administrator to stay at a school,” explained Scott Pierce.

He will be retiring at the end of this month.

Altogether, Pierce has served in public education for more than 40 years.

Milton Thompson has come in as interim administrator.

Thompson and Pierce have a history. When Pierce was the administrator at Kenosha Unified School District, they worked together with offices next to each other.

“Scott mentored me as a district superintendent. I ran a number of programs and Scott kept giving me more responsibilities,” Thompson explained.

Thompson sees his move into an interim position as a smooth transition.

“Central has a strategic plan and that is very important for me and for the new superintendent,” he said.

“The plan is a roadmap for the future. The district has an identity and direction for the future.”

Thompson has served as superintendent for a variety of school districts, including Pulaski in northeastern Wisconsin, North Chicago, Ill. and Beloit.

Most recently, he served as interim administrator at Clintonville in Waupaca County.

“That was a wonderful experience,” he said. “The staff was warm and welcoming. I didn’t feel like an outsider.”

Thompson said he expects the experience at Central to be the same. Pierce will be on hand through December to give Thompson a hand.

“I won’t be here every day,” Pierce said. “But, I will be available.”

Thompson quipped, “I will have his number on speed dial.”

“Central is a wonderful district,” he continued. “There is great student achievement and the district is very stable.”

Overcoming challenges
One of the biggest challenges Pierce faced when he first arrived at Central was passing a facility referendum.

“I was on that on day one,” he said. “The board had two failed attempts previously.”

The effort began in the summer of 2008 with a successful referendum passed in January of 2009. That referendum included the athletic fields.

The next project was to go to the public to borrow $7.9 million for energy upgrades throughout the building. The referendum was successful and with the savings from the upgrades, the district paid off that loan times faster.

Another measure to decrease spending has been to not replace retiring staff and to shop around for the best price for health insurance.

“We also refinanced debt and saved the district $800,000 in interest payments,” Pierce said.

Having an excellent staff and a stable board made his job as district administrator easier.

“I was ready to retire some years ago,” Pierce said. “We had plans to travel but my wife died and plans changed. The board wanted me to stay on, so I did.”

Pierce’s last board meeting was on Nov. 20.

“I have enjoyed all the board meetings,” he said. “I have enjoyed working with the Central school board. The board has been very stable and supportive.”

Looking ahead
Pierce intends to continue with many activities and service opportunities and spend more time with his daughter and grandchildren.

He is beginning his 10th year on the Gateway Technical College Board and will continue to sing tenor in the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus. This Christmas season, he will be singing in the St. Pauls’ Episcopal performance of The Messiah.


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