The Hamilton School District has announced that Paul Mielke will replace Patricia Polczynski as principal at Templeton Middle School beginning July 1.
Mielke has been principal at West Allis Central High School since 2009 and previously served as assistant principal and athletic director at Waukesha South High School. He started his career in education as an English teacher at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School in Wittenberg, Wis.
He said in an email that Hamilton Superintendent Kathleen Cooke was one of his instructors at Cardinal Stritch University, where he earned his doctorate and master’s degree in educational leadership in 2012 and 2005, respectively.
“I was very impressed with her and the work she has done in the Hamilton School District,” he said. “I made the decision at that time, to pursue any opportunities that would become available.”
Cooke said in a statement: “Dr. Mielke is an energetic, hardworking individual who possesses the skills and ability to help an already great school continue to grow and flourish.”
Mielke said that he has experience designing and implementing academic programming that help a variety of students. During his time at West Allis Central, the school added or expanded programming focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), college preparedness and advanced placement.
The school also expanded programming for at-risk students, including academic intervention, mandatory summer school and freshman transition classes.
“We have looked at achievement data and determined what students needed to be successful beyond high school and designed programs accordingly,” he said.
Mielke said he is a strong proponent for expanding STEM programming and helped initiate the development of Project Lead the Way curriculum at Waukesha Central Middle School.
“...In my opinion, if done correctly, STEM is a great vehicle for increasing student engagement and creative thinking skills,” he said.
Hamilton public information coordinator Denise Lindberg said Mielke was one of 32 people who applied for the position. Ten applicants were interviewed.
“Hamilton School District is considered a destination school district, not only for students and families, but also staff,” Lindberg said.
Polczynski is retiring at the end of the current school year after 20 years service in the district. She was principal for 18 years at Templeton, before that serving as associate principal.