dr martens oxblood boots Hilts finalizes contract with Wausau School Board
WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) Dr. Keith Hilts and the Wausau School Board made it official on Monday, the Ashland Schools superintendent will leave the district for the same position in Wausau on July 1st.
“[it feels] great. This isn’t something I was planning, but the opportunity presented itself. And as I’ve come to learn about the community the schools are top notch.”
Hilts has already outlined a four page entry plan which he made available to the school board and media on Monday. He says he will spend a lot of time listening to everyone from district leadership to faculty and community leaders which will become a part of a strategic plan to advance student learning, achievement, and success. He says part of that will be immersing himself in the Wausau community to understand all the cultures involved.
Hilts knows he’s coming to a much larger and more diverse district but he’s handled his share of race related issues in Ashland, which has a large Native American population. “The racial tensions in Ashland are historic. The only way I know of to really alleviate those kinds of issues is to get to know people. Go out, talk to them,
work alongside them. It builds trust and that’s what we were able to do in Ashland.”
In most cases Hilts says he was able to turn those situations into teaching moments, either for himself or for the students involved. “The only way to eliminate misconceptions is to have conversations.” Hilts says in Ashland they had a process called speak your peace, which allowed both sides to be heard. “It’s a framework we use to discuss all sorts of culture. We incorporated a conversation about race and respect, what is respectful, what isn’t respectful.”
Hilts leaves a district that features 350 employees and around 2,000 students, compared to Wausau which boasts 8,200 students and has more teachers than Ashland had employees districtwide.