Rhinelander school board chooses Eric Burke for superintendent
By Eileen Persike
The Rhinelander School Board has found the district’s next leader. Following a second interview Tuesday night, board president Ron Counter announced the board voted unanimously for current Port Washington High School principal Eric Burke.
“We thought he did a nice job during the entire interview process – part one and two, and the community was extremely happy with him and we’re looking forward to bargaining with him and see where we go from there,” Counter said.
Burke was asked 11 prepared questions and several follow up questions by board members during the 80-minute interview.
When asked what he sees as the biggest issue facing the district, Burke said he would like to “spin a positive,” and responded with what he sees as the biggest potential.
“One of the things that excites me with this position and where we are is that I see a lot of potential for growth, because of the community support. The interview last week, quite honestly, with the staff in the lecture hall was so impressive to see the amount of people that were here and it’s important,” Burke said. “So I see the potential for academic achievement and growth as one of the things I can help with as a leader in setting the mission and vision for the district when it pertains to…academic achievement and growth.”
Burke said he will be “completely invested” in the board and the staff to do all they can to reach the district’s goals. He added that his wife, currently a first grade teacher, and daughter, currently a junior in high school would be moving with him to Rhinelander over the summer. He also has a son in college.
The school board made a tentative offer to Burke Tuesday night which the board’s attorney is reviewing. The entire board will need to meet to approve the final contract. Burke would replace the retiring Kelli Jacobi ,who has been the district’s superintendent since 2013.