Superintendent search complete

As interim superintendent JoAnne Sternke’s term comes to a close, the Shorewood School District concludes its search for a permanent replacement. 

Laurie Burgos, current superintendent of Evansville School District, has been selected as Shorewood’s new District Administrator. 

Burgos started her career in education in Spain, then moved back to the United States as a bilingual teacher. Her observations of European teaching changed her view on the American educational system and led her to pursue improving local districts.

“From there, I realized that a lot of the systems and structures that we had in schools didn’t work for a lot of students we were serving, and that was something I didn’t know prior to coming back to the US,” Burgos said. “That became a passion [for me]: not just serving bilingual students, but all students, and understanding who they are and how their school can do a better job at allowing them to be the best version of themselves.”

Sternke feels confident that Burgos will provide Shorewood with the skills needed to enhance students’ experience. 

“I think it’s finding that sweet spot of preserving the traditions that really mean a lot here and that are fostering student excellence,” Sternke said. “Also being an innovator and spurring innovation about new things that the district can do, now and into the future.”

The upcoming operating referendum will be voted upon on April 4 and holds potential to alter Shorewood’s fiscal future. 

“My core values align directly with the District’s core values.”

— Laurie Burgos, superintendent

“I want to be very transparent and say that we will need to have changes if the operational referendum does not pass. The fiscal shortfalls are huge, not only for next year,” Sternke said. “[I want to make] sure that we are able to have a predictable and sustainable funding system that supports the great education we deliver.”

At the moment, Burgos does not have long-term plans of improvement, though her first course of action is to frequently visit Shorewood this spring. 

“I really just want to sit back and listen for a while, and I want to learn what is important to [students] and what [students] would like school to be,” Burgos said. “Same thing with families, with staff, and with the community at large, I would like to have a good understanding of where I am going.”

Burgos expresses that having a relationship with students is of high regard to her, and Sternke shares this value. Student productions, like the black history month presentation, have been a significant moment of Sternke’s admiration of Shorewood students.

A Collective of Consciousness was a recent highlight just because I was really proud of our students both on the stage and working [on the presentation],” Sternke said. “[It is really moving] seeing students being able to share their perspectives and views in ways that are powerful.”

Sternke reflects on Shorewood’s uniqueness, and how it provides students with essential life necessities. 

“Shorewood is a special place that really reveres the teachers and education that’s delivered here, and I want every student to find what it is they’re passionate about and really take all the opportunities here to explore that so that they feel ready to take that to the next level when they graduate,” Sternke said. 

Equity, growth, and excellence are the District’s primary principles, which go hand in hand with Burgos’.

“My core values align directly with the District’s core values, and I think having that match is really important in terms of the ability to connect with the community and learn about the community, [and to] then take steps with everybody to keep things moving forward,” Burgos said. “I am very passionate about learning, leading and growing.”

Burgos will begin as Shorewood superintendent next school year, and looks forward to joining the Village. 

“I am very honored to join the Shorewood community, and I look forward to working with everyone to do great things for our kids.”