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Whitefish Bay schools chief to retire

Dec. 12, 2009
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By Tom Kertscher of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 12, 2009 0

Whitefish Bay — James Rickabaugh, superintendent of the Whitefish Bay School District, announced this week he would retire in July after 10 years leading the district.

Rickabaugh was due to receive his annual evaluation Wednesday from the School Board but instead announced his retirement, School Board Vice President Cheryl Maranto said Saturday.

"We're thrilled with him; we're very sorry to see him go," she said.

"He's just really kind of a quintessential educational leader. He understands the educational process, he's a visionary. It's hard to come into a really high-performing district and figure out how to take it to the next level and I think he was able to do that."

Rickabaugh was named superintendent of the year in Minnesota in 1996 when he headed the school district in Burnsville, a Minneapolis suburb. He started as superintendent in Whitefish Bay in July 2000 and in 2008 was named superintendent of the year in Wisconsin.

In November, voters in the Whitefish Bay School District approved two referendums authorizing $22.6 million in borrowing for upgrades and additions to the district's school buildings.

Whitefish Bay is also one of five Wisconsin school districts suing two firms to reverse investments they made in 2006. The lawsuit alleges the firms misled the school systems into making risky investments that had at one point been estimated to have lost nearly 95% of their original $200 million value.

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About Tom Kertscher

Tom Kertscher is a PolitiFact Wisconsin reporter. He covered the Steven Avery case, which is featured in "Making A Murderer," and has authored two sports books: "Cracked Sidewalks and French Pastry: The Wit and Wisdom of Al McGuire" and "Brett Favre: A Packer Fan's Tribute."

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