The Waukesha School Board named Jody Landish as the new assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, taking over for Ryan Krohn, who is moving on to a position as the director at The Institute for Personalsized Learning at CESA #1 in Pewaukee.
Landish has a long career in education, having been with the Waukesha School District for 14 of her 20 years as a teacher and administrator.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Science degree and received her master's degree in education at Virginia Tech University. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Education Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University, where she received her principal and curriculum and instruction licenses.
Landish sat down the Waukesha Now to talk about her new role and what the district is doing or could do for students.
What are you most looking forward to as the new assistant superintendent for teaching and learning?
What I am most looking forward to is continuing to cultivate the great work happening in our schools with our school improvement processes and the focus on personalized learning as our teaching and learning framework. We have high-quality administrators and teacher leaders in our district, and I am fortunate to be able to serve them in order to help maximize student growth and achievement.
And for those who aren't familiar with the position, could you describe it?
The role of an assistant superintendent is multifaceted. I work as a conduit from the school board, to all of our administrators, and ultimately through our teachers to the learners. A primary function is making sure that our teaching and learning vision, synergy and communication is cohesive from the board room to the classroom.
What will you bring to the position?
I believe I bring district experience to the position, and also a lens of system connectedness upon which I hope to cultivate the work of multiple departments and 23 schools in order to drive effective improvement and innovation processes forward that will ultimately help all learners grow and succeed.
What are some of the biggest challenges the district faces in regards to teaching practices or the way we learn?
Teaching and learning is complex because humans are complex. Our learners come to us with a variety of social, emotional and academic needs, and our biggest challenge is to provide them with the supports they need to be successful.
How do you plan to confront those challenges?
The best way, in my opinion, that we can tackle this challenge is to make sure that each of our teacher leaders who work with our learners every day have the skills, dispositions and professional support they need to help each learner find success.
What are some of the district's greatest strengths in those areas?
The school district has many strengths, first and foremost are our employees. From the board room to the classroom, I witness tireless efforts to focus on learner-centered decision making each and every day. Everyone is working to bring Waukesha from good to great, because that is what each of our students deserves.
How do you plan to build on that?
I plan to work hard to maximize the talent we currently have and help support the administrators and teachers who are doing the hard work each and every day to get the job done.