Leadership Spotlights

SASD Leadership Spotlights

Jason Duff

Meet Jason Duff

Meet Jason Duff, Principal of Warriner Middle School and Warriner High School. Jason has worked in education for 22 years! In addition to serving as a charter school principal for the last four years, Jason has also served as the SASD Academic and Career Planning Coordinator for seven years. While not from Sheboygan, Jason has many connections to the SASD. His wife is a graduate of North High School and his mother-in-law is a school board member.

What is the best part of your job? Overall, I really like being part of a team -- working together to figure things out and working toward a common goal. I also really enjoy standing outside in the morning, greeting students and seeing smiles as they start their day.

What do you look forward to each school year? Without a doubt, my favorite day is high school graduation at Vollrath Bowl. Especially now that I've been at Warriner for nearly four years, it will be very fulfilling to see our seniors walk across the stage.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Most of my time outside of work is spent with my wife and my three kids, who are involved in a lot of activities. I also enjoy playing golf when I can.

Leadership Spotlight   Lexi Foerster 400 px

Meet Lexi Foerster, Principal of Jackson Elementary School. Lexi is in her second year as a leader in the Sheboygan Area School District. She previously worked as a Principal in Neenah, Dean of Students in Appleton, and also as an elementary classroom teacher in Milwaukee.

What is the best part of your job? The best part of working at Jackson is the staff, students, and families! It’s very rewarding to know I am making a positive impact by loving and supporting others.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I love spending time in Eagle River, with my husband, daughter, and two sons. If it's warm enough to be on a boat, you can find me there!

What fills you with pride? I am proud to work with a staff that shares the same vision and mindset of, "What is best for kids?" At Jackson, we make all our decisions from a student-first perspective, which allows us to have the greatest impact on our students socially, emotionally, and academically.

Leadership Spotlight Amy Buffington 400px

Meet Amy Buffington, Principal of Sheridan Elementary School, which is home to the Dual Language program. Amy has worked in the Sheboygan Area School District for 13 years with the last seven years as Principal at Sheridan.

Amy's Path to SASD
"It was my hope upon my college graduation that my career would lead me to the SASD. When I learned that the SASD had a dual language program, as someone who is bilingual and passionate about language learning, I knew Sheridan was where I was meant to be! My oldest daughter, Lyla, is open enrolled in the Sheboygan Area School District and this year is especially exciting, because I get to watch her grow and flourish as a bilingual learner within Sheridan as a kindergarten student!"

What is something you look forward to each year? I genuinely look forward to every day and find so much joy in the small moments I am privileged to witness each day, however, if I had to choose a larger event I look forward to it would be our Family Nights. Each family night provides unique opportunities for our staff, students, and families to come together and celebrate what makes Sheridan such a special place.

What inspired you to enter the education field? In high school, all students participated in a college and career readiness mentoring program. My mentor was my elementary school principal. In a conversation with him we were discussing my future plans and when I talked about my career as a teacher he asked me, “What next?” I had never thought about anything other than teaching. He said “I see you in school leadership someday.” That comment stuck with me and the year he passed away, I was offered the elementary principal position at Sheridan. It was a full circle moment.

Leadership Spotlight   Patrick Neils 400 px

Meet Patrick Neils, Principal of Grant Elementary School. Patrick has worked in the Sheboygan Area School District for seven years - one year as Assistant Principal at Farnsworth and the last six years as Principal at Grant.

Patrick and his family have strong ties to the Sheboygan Area School District! He was born and raised in Sheboygan, attended Wilson Elementary School, Farnsworth Middle School, and graduated from South High School. His wife, Kela, works at Wilson Elementary School, his daughter Grace attends Farnsworth, and his daughter Faith attends Wilson Elementary School. Patrick’s mom worked as an Educational Assistant in the SASD for over 20 years.

What is something you look forward to each year? The excitement and possibility for the start of "a new year" on the first day of school.

What inspired you to work in the education field? I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in 4th grade, thanks in large part to the abundance of excellent teachers and educators I was fortunate enough to have throughout my academic career at Wilson, Farnsworth, and South. With too many to name, year after year, I am grateful for these phenomenal teachers who have helped me learn and grow. As an adult and educator myself, I am thankful for the wonderful examples they provided by modeling what it means to be a great educator.

Leadership Spotlight Ted Hamm   400 px

Meet Ted Hamm, Director of The Étude Schools. Ted has worked in the Sheboygan Area School District for his entire career - 31 years and counting! Ted was one of the founders of the Étude charter schools 18 years ago and has been the Director since its inception.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I spend much of my spare time with my kids and their activities. This includes robotics competitions, debate competitions, and horse shows. I really enjoy watching my own kids grow in activities they enjoy!

What is something you look forward to each year? At Étude, we have Exhibitions of student learning each year. In these Exhibitions, students share their projects, including a product of their learning, their research, and most importantly, how they have grown in their Habits of Professionalism. Seeing students create something and reflect on their learning makes these events special.

What accomplishment fills you with pride? The greatest source of pride for me within the SASD is seeing a student who has struggled to overcome personal adversity turn around their school year and become successful in their lives and education.

Leadership Spotlight Cartland   400px

Charity has worked in the Sheboygan Area School District for 10 years - four years as an Instructional Technology Coach and six years as the Principal at James Madison. Charity lives in Grafton with her husband and two young daughters.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy walking/running, going hiking with my family, reading, listening to podcasts, learning, and going to church. Recently, my husband and I learned how to sail.

What is something you look forward to each year? I look forward to our end-of-the-year field day and final school assembly. It is joyous to see the students reflecting on their year and time together with each other and staff. I also get to do fun things like having students throw a pie in my face or tape me to a wall. I love it because they love it!

What accomplishment fills you with pride? I am proud of the school and culture of excellence that James Madison has, which is displayed through our student's academic growth and achievement year after year.

Leadership Spotlight   Amanda Schermetzler 400x

Ms. Barttelt, as she is known to her elementary students, has worked in the Sheboygan Area School District for 14 years, with 11 of those years as the Lincoln-Erdman Principal.

Ms. Barttelt’s husband also works for the SASD as a technology education teacher at North and South High Schools. He oversees the home-building project. They have two sons - one at Lincoln-Erdman and one at Urban Middle School.

What is something you look forward to each year? My favorite two events are Trunk or Treat and Grub with the Grich (formerly Santa Breakfast). They are both family fun activities that allow me to interact with kids in a different setting.

What inspired you to work in the education field? I have always wanted to work with kids. Early on, I babysat my younger cousins, and in college, I spent my summers as a camp counselor. One of my favorite teachers was my High School German Teacher. He always held us to high standards but cared deeply about all of his students. He does his best to keep in touch with all of us, even those who graduated high school 25 years ago!