Principal Mike Pisani is leaving Elm Lawn to accept the same position at Stoner Prairie Elementary in Verona.
Pisani, who has been at Elm Lawn for six years, informed his staff and the Elm Lawn families of his decision on Thursday. Stoner Prairie has a 39 percent free and reduced lunch populuation, which Pisani said was a huge factor in his decision.
"Mike was motivated to work with this population of students,'' MCPASD Superintendent Don Johnson said. "I am saddened to have Mike leave Elm Lawn and MCPASD. He has provided outstanding leadership and commitment to the students, families, and staff at Elm Lawn. He has also added a collaborative, thoughtful, and energetic dimension to the district leadership team. Mike will be missed and I wish him the best. I hope that we can continue our connection and communication with Mike since he is just down the road.''
MCPASD plans to embark on an abbreviated search and hiring process, Johnson said, and Pisani plans to be available to support and help with the transition. The goal is to find a permanent replacement, although it is possible the district will consider an interim candidate, Johnson said.
Internal and external candidates will be considered, he said. The plan is to begin interviews the week of Aug. 5, he added.
Pisani joined the staff in the summer of 2007. Before that, he was a principal at Johnson Creek Elementary for two years. He also taught for three years at Westside Elementary in Sun Prairie.
He graduated from Edgewood College with a bachelor's degreen in elementary education in 2002 and received a master's degree from Cardinal Stritch in 2006.
"I wanted to make sure you heard this news from me and I wanted to tell you how fortunate I feel to have worked with such great kids, staff, caregivers, and families over the last six years,'' Pisani said in a letter that was sent to every Elm Lawn family last week and also posted on the school's website. "I have created many memories and friendships that I will take with me forever and I will truly miss being at Elm Lawn.
"Pursuing this opportunity in no way reflects how I feel about Elm Lawn or that I am unhappy with something at Elm Lawn or MCPASD; quite the opposite! I feel that I had a wonderful opportunity to work with a school community that wants every kid to succeed and is willing to do just about anything to help them get there.''