WBHS principal heading to Oconto Falls

Russ calls his time in the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District enjoyable
Luke Reimer

A local school administrator is leaving his current position for a new one in Northeast Wisconsin next year.

Stuart Russ, who was hired to succeed Bill Hass at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School a year ago, will be taking over as the principal of Oconto Falls High School on July 1. Russ came to WBHS after serving as the principal for four years at Shawano Community Middle School. Before that, Russ started his teaching career in the Luxembourg-Casco School District, moving to the Rosendale-Brandon School District and then starting administration as an assistant principal at Shawano Community High School.

“I absolutely have great respect and I have really enjoyed my time working with the staff, the students, the administrative team, the community, the school board — everybody in the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District,” said Russ. “Everybody has been fantastic.”

Living with his family in Shawano, looking to move and having experience in the area, Russ said he saw the move to the Oconto Falls as an opportunity he could not pass up.

“I have long held Oconto Falls in high regard, and it’s a great district,” he said. “It is a little bit closer to our family, so that was something that was a big factor in this.”

Russ said he hopes to help with the transition to whomever is selected for his position at Wittenberg-Birnamwood.

“I have been fortunate to meet with the team at Oconto Falls, and they have been very supportive,” said Russ. “I had a chance to talk to Dan Moore, their principal, and he has been great, as far as being a resource for me as I transition to Oconto Falls.”

He pointed to former principal Bill Hass as setting an example for a smooth transition between principals and said that he hopes to do the same.

“It is just going to be a little bit of a transition, but I will be a Charger until June 30,” said Russ.

Talking about his time at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School, Russ cited a lot of positives working at the school but said forming relationships will stand above the rest.

“Getting to know the people here has been great,” said Russ. “Just getting to know and build those relationships with the staff and the kids has been a real positive thing for me in my life.”

Russ said he looks forward to starting at Oconto Falls High School and to start building relationships.

“I feel pretty fortunate to be in a great situation right now and to be heading to another great situation there,” he said.

He reiterated that he holds Oconto Falls in high regard due to a couple of reasons, including their support for students in the school district.

“I grew up in the area in Wausaukee and they have a lot of great programs for their kids (at Oconto Falls),” said Russ, noting the school district’s strong academic performance as well. “I have just had really positive experiences in my discussions in the interview process. Even before that, I was a part of a middle school principals group with their middle school principal, Stephanie Landreman, and she spoke highly of their students there and the atmosphere. That is exciting to me. Just those conversations and area seemed like an opportunity that I could not pass up.”

In terms of differences between Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Oconto Falls, Russ pointed to the difference in sizes of the districts.

“I think the size is going to be the big difference, so it might be a little bit of an adjustment,” said Russ. “I think that are great people in both districts — I think there are a lot of similarities.”

Looking to the future, Russ said that he excited to start at Oconto Falls and expects his time to go smoothly there.

“I am optimistic about the future and optimistic about getting to know the people there,” said Russ. “Hopefully we can all work together and have a positive experience for all of students, staff and community.”