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Greenfield Superintendent Misses Out on Menomonee Falls Opening

Conrad Farner had been among three finalists for the opening before the Menomonee Falls School Board selected Dr. Patricia Herdrich.

Menomonee Falls School Board President Kathy Shurilla announced Tuesday that Dr. Patricia Herdrich has been chosen to replace Dr. Keith Marty as the new superintendent of the Menomonee Falls School District. 

Shurilla confirmed the board's choice during a tour of the school district with State Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers.

That means Greenfield Superintendent Conrad Farner, for the Falls job, will be staying put.

Herdrich is currently the superintendent of West Bend Joint School District #1. Herdrich received her doctorate from University of Wisconsin in 1995. She currently serves with the national Educational Development Institute, which works with business leaders who are focused on educational research.

The other finalist was Dr. Charles W. Johns, principal of Rolling Meadows High School in Palatine, Ill.

The Menomonee Falls School Board will officially introduce and welcome Herdrich to the district during the next board meeting at 7 p.m. May 9.

The Menomonee Falls School Board sifted through 29 applicants for Marty’s position. Fifteen were superintendents in other districts, three were assistant superintendents, seven were principals, two were business consultants or self-employed, and two were unemployed.

In an , Farner listed his ties to Menomonee Falls - he had done his practicum for the superintendency in Menomonee Falls years ago - and the district's reputation as reasons why he pursued the opening, but added he was proud of his accomplishments with Greenfield and that the district's employees would be what he "missed the most if I ever leave."

Ben Hogan May 03, 2011 at 09:38 PM
I think the school board needs to seriously consider not renewing Mr. Farner's contract. If he has shown the desire to leave the district for the exact position in another district, clearly he does not want to be here!!
Roger May 03, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Here here! I'm sure the falls did their homework. Greenfield's ACT scores, WKCE and school ranks have fallen under the dictatorship of Farner! As well as him being a pompus jerk! Let's raise the taxes even more to pay him 195,000 a year for what?!
KHD May 03, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Agreed, Farner wants to leave and certainly runs a dictatorship. He constantly starts things without the boards approval. Lets not make a grave mistake and keep him here. Rick Moze should not be re-elected again. He is nothing but a yes man for Farner. Also, Julie Rome is the worst excuse for a school board member. She has her own agenda too. Thanks god we still have Bruce Bailey and David Richlen. It is time to shake things up and make a change. Get rid of Mr. Farner as soon as his contract is up.
jcamp May 04, 2011 at 03:05 AM
I wonder is any of you have ever spoken one on one with Mr Farner. I have found him to be reasonable, intelligent and very hard working. Obviously Bruce Baileys political hacks are smearing him using this board. I would urge people to take the time to get to know Mr. Farner before believing the stinking pile these yahoos are slinging.
R Sayas May 04, 2011 at 03:11 AM
Ben, I totally agree with you, but it's too late. The School Board just renewed his contract at the end of last year.
R Sayas May 04, 2011 at 03:18 AM
I have found him to be very ignorant, especially if you have a difference of opinion with him. In regards to your personal attacks on Mr. Bailey. If anyone has political hacks, please take a look at the school board votes. It typically is 5-2 or 6-1 vote. Try looking at Mr. Moze, Ms. Rome, and even Ms. Ellision. Mr. Almquist used to be a part of that, but incoming (again) will just fill his spot, as she did in the past. Yahoo!
David Cotey May 04, 2011 at 03:26 AM
Hey everyone, I'm all for the sharing of opinions and having back-and-forth conversations, but let's tone down (read: eliminate) the name-calling. Just doesn't really serve a purpose, in my opinion.
R Sayas May 04, 2011 at 03:47 AM
Mr. Cotey. I apologize if I offended anyone with my comments, but I feel a response is needed with some of the comments being submitted. I will make sure to keep my comments direct, but respectful. I hope others will follow.
read you will May 04, 2011 at 06:23 PM
Greenfield sure is turning into a city of haters. It's sad. I remember at last year's annual meeting a parent actually demanded that Mr. Farner take a 70% pay cut. No wonder he wants to leave. I like and respect Mr. Farner and wish he had gotten the job in the Falls - because he would have been happier. I attend lots of school board meetings and see how crappy people treat him. I think it's sad. He is very intelligent... and guess what? He actually still cares about our kids - while the good old boys on our school board do not.
Greenfield Resident May 04, 2011 at 08:19 PM
Wow- thank you Mr. Cotey for asking the bloggers to be civil. I am glad a blogger apologized, but really- when it was said that Mr. Farner is "ignorant, especially if you have a difference of opinion with him," that really took me for a loop. I guess anyone who disagrees with that blogger must be "ignorant," if you follow his reasoning. Isn't there room any more for a difference of opinion? And what has happened to process of finding out the facts first and then formulating an opinion? Or should we formulate our opinions first and then try to make up some facts to support them? Seems like the latter process seems to be popular lately.
Lynn May 04, 2011 at 09:27 PM
If I understand Mr. Hogan correctly, he believes if you ever apply for another job during your working career that may offer you more pay - or better working conditions - or may just be more challenging - then your current employer should terminate your employment. And KDH feels that there is a Dictatorship in the school district... all I can say is I am glad I do not work for either of you.
Ben Hogan May 04, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Lynn: What I am saying is that the district now knows that Mr. Farner is actively looking to leave the district and they need to be prepared to replace him with a quality individual. Seeking a replacement with more advance notice is much more preferable than trying to replace Mr. Farner during the month of May. Mr. Farner would have put the district in a position to find a replacement for next school year with very little notice. the district would of had to settle for whatever was left in the pool of administrators
KHD May 05, 2011 at 10:11 AM
Lynn, Wake up and join the real world. If an employer found out that one of his upper management people was pursing another job, he or she would certainly not be employed their much longer. That is just how it is. @ Read you Will, you obviously haven't been paying attention at the school Board meetings. Mr. Farner needs to go !!!!
Derek May 05, 2011 at 11:31 AM
He's happy where he is.....but he wants to leave. Can't imagine why the superintendent of a school district with plummeting test scores, discipline problems and a huge budget deficit would want to leave and go to "The Falls." Apparently the Falls' school board sees what the Greenfield school board can't (or won't) see.
Greenfield Resident May 05, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Did any of you read today's Journal Sentinel? The Falls school board president said, in part, "We had three outstanding final candidates, there's no question." Farner was chosen as a finalist from a group of 29 applicants. That means that Farner is WELL-RESPECTED in the education community (although apparently not respected by some on this blog). And regarding the Falls' choice to go with Pat Herdrich, the fact that she is a former assistant principal/principal in the Falls, gave her a huge advantage over the other applicants. The Greenfield community should be proud that Farner did so well in the hiring process. His placement in the final three shows that another community recognized what some on this blog can't seem to comprehend - that Farner is a great superintendent, who is, along with his talented staff, working diligently to improve the test scores, curriculum and discipline issues inherent in a higher poverty urban-suburban school district, DESPITE AN IMPENDING BUDGET DEFICIT CAUSED AGAIN BY ANOTHER HUGE DECREASE IN STATE AID.
Roger May 05, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Ok Mini mee to Conrad! Walsh or Schiereski!
Greenfield Resident May 05, 2011 at 10:00 PM
Once again, some bloggers on the Greenfield Patch have demonstrated that they cannot have a civil discussion regarding the facts and issues. I bet they were the playground bullies when they couldn't win a verbal argument.
KHD May 06, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Greenfield Resident, Lets see. Where does the education community say Farner is well respected? You are making assumptions. You are also saying The Falls President can't be objective because of a former principal being a candidate. How do you know these things when no one has stated such? If anyone can't comprehend, it is certainly you. High poverty District???? Lookup the median household income. Geez, you really have no Idea what you are talking about. And what about the decrease, lets look to the public employee's for not paying their fair share. The guy wants to leave and we should help him.
R Sayas May 06, 2011 at 04:25 AM
I didn't say ignorant. I said "arrogant" and for that remark, I do not apologize. That is my personal experience with him and my opinion.
Greenfield Resident May 06, 2011 at 03:07 PM
The education community that respected Mr. Farner was obviously Menomonee Falls since he was one of their finalists for superintendent. Their board president said that the final three candidates were all "outstanding." As president, she is the spokesperson for the district. "HIGHER" poverty urban-suburban district does not mean the same as "HIGH" poverty urban-suburban district. I implied that Greenfield is a HIGHER poverty district than many in our area (the exception being Milwaukee). The DPI website shows the percentage of students who attend Greenfield School District schools and qualify for free or reduced lunches. This is the standard for determining percentage of actual students who come from poverty; that is not the same thing as looking at median household incomes. And I did not say that the Menonomee Falls president could not be objective. I implied that when an employer has two candidates, one of which has worked for the employer, if the former employee was a great one, then the employer will normally be reluctant to offer the job to the lesser known candidate, even when they seem to have similar skills and attributes. The employer would probably hire the candidate that they already have a good working relationship with and a good history with, which in this case was Pat Herdrich. Obviously, she had other fine qualties as well which contributed to their decision, according to the JS article. Also, R Sayas, you did say "ignorant" on May 3rd.
sticktofacts May 06, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Farner must be the type of person people respect and enjoy working for. The proof is in the number of people who have come to Greenfield that worked with him in the past or knew him. And they are high quality people if you have talked to them or listened to them. There is no doubt he has upset the leaders of the teacher's union as they have tried to discredit him in a number of ways, but that is because he holds people accountable. Seems if the union leaders are not happy with a superintendent, he must be challenging them. But at the same time, if you talk to the rank and file teachers, they say they respect him and the work he does for the district. He got a standing ovation at the school funding rally at the high school a month or so go. Plus, his team saved the taxpayers over $2 million a few years ago after they came in under budget and did not raise fees after the referendums were passed. They did that on purpose knowing the referendums would have an impact on taxes. If you watch board meetings you know they are pushing math and reading initiatives to improve achievement. They have made a lot of budget cuts too. I dont know, seems there is a lot going on that would indicate the district is getting good leadership. Unlike many of the comments on this blog that are purely unsubstantiated opinions, all of these statements can be verified easily. And R Sayas did say ignorant, but i dont think he meant that. love him or hate him, Farner is not ignorant.

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