Kaczor Named Granton
School Superintendent

Dennis Kaczor 2020

Dennis Kaczor

By Valerie Brecht

The Granton Area School District will soon see a new face at the head of its administration, but it will be someone who is no stranger to the area. Dennis Kaczor has been hired as the new superintendent. Born and raised in Neillsville, Kaczor comes to the district with a decades-long career in education as a business ed. teacher, principal and administrator.

“Anytime you start a new position, you’re excited for new challenges,” said Kaczor. “I’m excited to learn what the district is doing well and enter into that, and also contribute my experience to help the district grow.”

With Kaczor’s hire, there will be a shift in roles in the administration. Kaczor will take over for Scott Woodington, who indicated last year that 2019-20 would be his last school year as superintendent. Woodington has been serving as the elementary principal and superintendent; however, Kaczor’s sole role will be superintendent. Current 7-12 grade principal Amanda Kraus will become K-12 principal. The district also hired Joseph Andrashie as the new bookkeeper. He will served as the point person for staff members when it comes to human resources concerns or questions about benefits and payroll. He will also be responsible for ordering all the educational materials for the district.

“With the three administrative positions, there will be distinct responsibilities and goals of each person. We’ll have to jump in and identify roles and responsibilities,” Kaczor said.

Kaczor has experience in an administrative role that will aid him in this transition, he said. He spent the last four years as district administrator for the Herman-Neosho-Rubicon (HNR) School District, which is about 49 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

“It was intriguing because the district was newly-consolidated. I got to learn and grow into the position. You have to wear many, many hats as a district administrator. It’s a big job and HNR was a great place to learn. Now, I am looking forward to returning to a place that has meaning to me,” Kaczor said.

Kaczor’s family lives near Mosinee, so for the past four years, he’s had a two-hour-plus commute. He’s been staying in an apartment in the HNR School District during the week. With the Granton position, Kaczor says he’s looking forward to coming home every night and being near where he grew up.

He's also looking forward to moving back to a K-12 setting, because his current district is K-8. For the first 18 years of his career, Kaczor taught at the secondary level. He said he enjoys having involvement with high school students and all the things that go along with that, like athletics and extra-curricular activities.

Size-wise, Granton is comparable to HNR.

“With all the districts, the sustainability of the district is always a concern so that’s one of the things we’ll have to tackle first and make plan for moving forward,” said Kaczor.

Also, at the forefront will be dealing with the pandemic and making sure the staff is prepared to teach regardless of what restrictions are in place in the fall. Other immediate priorities include continuing to build a positive culture and climate at the school, and establishing connections with school and Community members, Kaczor said.

Kaczor has been in some type of administrative role since 2011. Prior to working at HNR, Kaczor worked as associate principal for Mosinee High School, principal for Adams-Friendship Middle School south of Wisconsin Rapids and principal and athletic director for Hilbert High School southwest of Green Bay. Prior to being principal, he taught business education and coached in Mosinee and taught business education and marketing in Prairie du Chien, which is south of La Crosse.

Two teachers influenced his decision to enter the education world. His mother, Roni Kaczor-Smith, taught in the Neillsville School District for 30-plus years. She taught Title I for early elementary grades and was a third-grade classroom teacher.

“I saw all the hard work she put in but also that even years later, after her students had grown, they would still stay in contact with her and have her over for supper and things like that. It was very impactful to me to see the significance she had in others’ lives,” said Kaczor.

The other teacher that had a big impact on Kaczor was his high school business ed. teacher Marlys Riedel.

“She showed me that even high school teachers care about students,” said Kaczor. “I appreciate that caring nature she shared.”

It was because of these two individuals that Kaczor decided to enter the teaching profession. He received a Reserved Officer’s Training Corps scholarship and attended the University of Tampa, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business management. He spent 10 years in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He earned a master’s degree in business education from UW-Whitewater. Kaczor is in the process of obtaining his doctorate in educational administration from Marian University, which he hopes to obtain in the next year.

Kaczor is married to his wife, Sara, and they have three children. He and his family enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking and hunting. Kaczor has land in the Neillsville School District that he uses for deer hunting.

Kaczor beings his new role July 1.

Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 27, 2020

Transcribed by Dolores M. Kenyon, May 28, 2020.

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, May 29, 2020. 

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