A time of transition
Jim Hoese discusses his career, leaving Marshfield Middle School, and how his and Dave Schoepke’s retirements will affect the school
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Dr. Jim Hoese came to Marshfield in 1990, never having been an administrator before, to take over the assistant principal role at what is now called Marshfield Middle School. Twenty-five years later he is retiring as a young man, just 57 years old.
Hoese attended UW-Stout, where he received his bachelor’s degree in industrial education. That will come in handy as he has plans to tackle an extensive honey-do list around the house now that he has more time.
His master’s degree came in administrative leadership from UW-Milwaukee, and he also has a doctorate in educational leadership from Edgewood College in Madison. Prior to moving to Marshfield, Hoese was a technology teacher, an athletics coach, an at-risk coordinator, and a learning coordinator across multiple grade levels in Kenosha.
Hoese came to Marshfield pursuing the assistant principal role and also because the medical complex was a good opportunity for his wife Lisa, who was a nurse at Saint Joseph’s Hospital and is now retired. The decision to enter education was, for Hoese, influenced by his sister, who was in the field as well.
“I enjoyed coaching and working with kids. I liked that a lot,” Hoese said. He added that he would miss “working with kids and assisting them in being successful. I mean, being the assistant principal, it’s predominantly at-risk kids that you’re working with or kids that make poor choices.”
When Hoese first arrived in Marshfield, the student body resembled something much different than what it is today.
“When I first came here, kids were smoking across the street, habitual truancy was real high, kids had cigarettes in the building, smoking in the washrooms, and I guess the biggest challenge was changing that whole dynamic,” Hoese said. “To where we are now, it’s (the progress is) just really phenomenal.”
While the school has come a long way, Hoese said his biggest concern for students today is the prevalence of drug activity in the community.
Hoese said that in addition to overseeing the discipline of students, he was involved in many club and extracurricular activities as assistant principal.
“What I liked about it is I had that balance where I dealt with the discipline side of it, but then I also got the opportunity to work with kids in doing exciting things in the building,” Hoese said, adding that in his first year in Marshfield he also served as athletic director for the middle school.
Hoese helped initiate a no-cut policy for middle school athletics, which prior to his arrival did not exist. He also coached Special Olympics during the summer.
“(It) was neat, because (there was) a lot of hiring of coaches. Kids were excited. No one was getting cut. We had lots of teams,” Hoese said.
Hoese said he made decision to retire relatively quickly, and he has not fully considered what he wants to do with his newfound time, though he may look into further opportunities to work with individuals with disabilities.
Hoese, whose position has not yet been filled by the school district, said that with the departure of both him and former Marshfield Middle School Principal Dave Schoepke this year, the new leadership has a chance for a fresh start. Replacing Schoepke will be former Marshfield High School Assistant Principal Mike Nicksic.
“They have an opportunity to develop a program and plan from the get-go. It’s not like you have anybody there with history right now in (that) administration, so they can kind of start from scratch,” Hoese said.
When asked what traits make a good school administrator, Hoese listed a few: liking what you do, consistency, communication, positivity, organization, and transparency with students and parents.
As to the next chapter of his life, Hoese said, “My wife has all these neat ideas about dealing with the house.” It seems he will be just as busy in retirement as he was as assistant principal.