The Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators has named the School District of Elmbrook’s Dr. Mark Hansen the Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year.
After more than 30 years in education, which includes two decades in school and district administrative roles, Dr. Hansen continues to inspire innovative change and prioritizes personal connections with students and staff. Dr. Hansen is being recognized for his leadership in student literacy, robust college and career learning, and community engagement - among others. He strives to live his mantra “every student, every time, all the time” through a relentless focus on students and staff across the District..
Dr. Hansen’s innovative approaches to education continue to keep Elmbrook at the top of the state and country in both accolades and achievement. His vision to expand college and career learning led to the creation of the LAUNCH program in 2016 which offers students profession-based learning experiences with local businesses while building a regional talent pipleline. More recently, Elmbrook served as a model district for science-based reading instruction for legislators and surrounding districts.
“Dr. Hansen’s leadership has continuously driven the School District of Elmbrook to be a top-tier school district not only in the state, but the country,” reflected Board President Scott Wheeler. “This award demonstrates the impact that his passion, vision, and hard work have had throughout his decade as Elmbrook’s Superintendent - qualities that continue to make a difference for students every day. We are very proud of Mark and all that he’s accomplished as our Superintendent, and congratulate him on this great achievement.”
Dr. Hansen began his career in education in 1993 as a History teacher in Pewaukee before serving as Principal of Waukesha South High School for nine years. He was named the Wisconsin Principal of the Year in 2006 and was a National Finalist by the National Association of Secondary School Principals that same year. Mark then served as Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Chief Academic Officer for Waukesha and Pewaukee Districts respectively before becoming Elmbrook’s Superintendent in 2012.
“I’m incredibly grateful and humbled by this award, which I believe is a reflection of the work of our talented staff and the accomplishments of our incredible students,” reflected Dr. Hansen. “It is a privilege to serve such a great community and I am proud of what we have accomplished together these past eleven years.”
In addition to education innovation, Dr. Hansen has also worked tirelessly to combat rising healthcare costs in order to maximize dollars spent on teaching and learning. Over the past seven years, that work has yielded an additional $45 million for teaching and learning. In addition to his Superintendent duties, Dr. Hansen co-developed and continues to co-facilitate a school Administrators program with Carroll University, and also serves as a lead teacher for AASA’s National Aspiring Superintendents Program.
WASDA will present the 2024 Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year award to Dr. Hansen at the joint WASB/WASDA/WASBO Convention in Milwaukee in January 2024.
A graduate of Oconomowoc High School and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Dr. Hansen received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Marian University of Fond du Lac, and his Superintendent’s licensure and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
"It is a privilege to present this year's Superintendent of the Year Award to Dr. Mark Hansen, an educational leader whose skills and passion for serving students have made a significant impact on his district and our entire state," said Jon Bales, executive director of WASDA. "Mark's commitment to public education, in continuing to raise the bar for educational excellence and his dedication to ensuring all students' success make this award appropriate."
Since its inception, WASDA’s Superintendent of the Year program has become widely acknowledged as the most prestigious honor a Wisconsin school system leader can receive. Criteria include successfully meeting the needs of students, personal and organizational communication, professionalism, participation in local community activities, and an understanding of regional, national, and international issues.