Rothmeyer excited to take over WBHS

New principal has 18 years of education experience
Luke Reimer

A change is set to occur in the leadership at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School for the upcoming school year.

With current principal Stuart Russ taking the same position at Oconto Fall High School next year, the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School Board approved the hiring of Megan Rothmeyer during its April 27 meeting.

A University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate, Rothmeyer got her first teaching position at Wausau West High School, taking over the school’s journalism program. From there, Rothmeyer got certified in journalism from the University of South Florida and received her master’s degree in professional development from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. That led her to Horace Mann Middle School in Wausau.

“I have been with the Wausau School District, teaching some form of English, for the last 18 years,” said Rothmeyer. “Within the Wausau School District, I have taken on a lot of different leadership roles. Some of my leadership roles in Wausau include being the English Department chair, a sixth-grade team leader, a summer school principal for our fifth-to-sixth grade transition program and there are a lot of different committee-type leadership roles that I do too.”

As a 2001 Witt-Birn graduate, Rothmeyer said that she is excited to get back to her roots in the area.

“I really just enjoyed all of the opportunities that public education provided me and all of the doors that were available and open to me,” said Rothmeyer. “That really sparked a passion for me to really explore how I could give back when I got older.”

With all of her experience in leadership, Rothmeyer said that she is prepared to take over as a high school principal.

“I feel like I am ready for this job because of my leadership experiences within my district and the variety of roles that I have taken on in the Wausau School District,” said Rothmeyer. “In addition to that, I feel like my doctoral program at Edgewood College in Madison helped prepare me for this experience. My doctoral degree is in educational leadership, and with that came all of the different coursework to be superintendent and director of curriculum.”

Superintendent Garrett Rogowski said that Rothmeyer was the right candidate for the open position, due to her commitment and passion for education.

“Her energy and excitement for leading here at WBHS was consistent with what Stuart is providing us, right now,” said Rogwoski. “We think that she has the ability to be a very impactful leader in a very positive way for our students and staff. We think that she brings a great skillset that will lead well to building strong relationships with our students and families here in the Wittenberg-Birnamwood community.”

In terms of the differences of being a principal compared to a teacher, Rothmeyer expects that she will have a better opportunity to impact learning on a larger scale.

“I am really excited to try to support teachers and students in learning and creating opportunities at an even larger scope than what I currently have,” said Rothmeyer.

Rothmeyer said that she was attracted to WBHS because of her passion for her childhood hometown.

“I am just so passionate about coming home — I grew up as a small-town girl, and there is just something about a small town community that a large community has, but not to the same degree,” said Rothmeyer. “I am really excited to come home and be a part of the same community that ignited a passion for education for me.”

In regards to her initial goals, Rothmeyer kept it simple and said that she wants to build relationships and familiarize herself with the school district.

“I have been away for a long time, so I really want to celebrate all of the things that are happening in the school district and get to know everyone — students, staff and families,” said Rothmeyer. “(I can accomplish these goals) by just being involved as much as I can my first year and making myself available.”

To sum it all up, Rothmeyer said that she wants parents and community members to know that she is a hard worker and is excited to start working in the same district from which she graduated.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity and I am very excited to be working in an area that I grew up in,” said Rothmeyer.

Rothmeyer will take over as the principal on July 1.

“I think that she is going to really acclimate easily,” said Rogowski. “She is going to find that her choice to come to Witt-Birn was the right one. Joining our team, I think, is going to be a transition that she finds very easy.”