The new school year has yet to begin, but some schools will have a change in leadership when classes do resume.

The Waukesha School Board approved new principals for Lowell and Hawthorne elementary schools that will begin at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.


Rachel Hermann will be the new principal of Lowell Elementary School. She has been the secondary literary and humanities coordinator for the district for the last five years, and will replace Amy Riesbel, who will be taking a new position as the district's summer school development and data communication liaison.

Hermann is a longtime educator, having worked for seven years as an English teacher in various districts. She has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and recently received her principal and director of instruction license from Carroll University.

Hermann will be the third principal Lowell has had in the past three years. With this hire, the district was trying to avoid the high turnover it has seen in the elementary schools, officials said.


Duy Nguyen will lead Hawthorne STEM, replacing Tina Koch, who is taking a position as an effectiveness coach at Les Paul Middle School -Central Campus. Nguyen comes to the district from the Madison Metropolian School District, where he was a learning coordinator.

Although Nguyen doesn't have much administrative experience, district officials said parents and Hawthorne staff had a great connection with him during an on-site interview. A certain 'talent factor' contributed to him being selected from the pool of 95 applicants.

A refugee, Nguyen is fluent in English and Vietnamese and has a 'very international résumé' that includes experience as a summer school principal intern, an elementary teacher and school librarian. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Hawthorne, too, has had three principals in three years.

Learning director

The Waukesha School Board has also approved Melissa Yow, the principal at Bethesda elementary, as the new director of elementary learning. She replaces Robert Antholine, who will be shifting to the director of secondary learning, filling the vacancy left by Jody Landish, who is the new assistant superintedent of curriculum and instruction.

Yow has been with the district for nine years, having led Bethesda since 2013 as well as serving as a reading specialist, instructional resource teacher and summer school principal.

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