Chalk one up to partnership
Joseph, Michele Green take positions in Greenwood school district
By Scott Bellile
NEW LONDON — Husband and wife Joseph and Michele Green turned in resignation letters to the New London School Board in May, ending nine-year careers in the district. They together accepted new positions in the Greenwood School District.
Joseph will wear two hats as principal for Greenwood Elementary School and director of teaching and learning for the school district. He began there July 1. Michele will be Greenwood School District’s K-12 library media and technology integration specialist. Her job begins in August.
Joseph was the principal at New London’s Parkview Elementary School for the last four years. Before that he was principal and associate principal at New London Intermediate/Middle School.
Michele was an instructional resource coach at the K-4 level at the School District of New London’s four elementary schools. She served also as the school district technology coordinator.
A new journey
Joseph and Michele Green have stuck together since the beginning of their careers.
The couple first met in Black River Falls. Michele was a library media specialist for the school district, and Joseph was the middle school dean of students.
They moved to New London in 2008, expecting to stay two or three years. It was “so amazing for the both of us” and their three children that they remained until now, Joseph said.
The Greens left to be closer to family. Joseph also wanted to try a smaller town where he could take on the challenge of juggling more responsibilities.
He said Greenwood School District totals around 400 students, 180 of which are at the elementary school. In comparison, Parkview Elementary School averages around 300 students.
“New London is so progressive, and the stuff that I’ve done there and been allowed to do there is exactly what I want to do and bring to Greenwood. I want to share those experiences with them,” Joseph said.
Michele and Joseph applied for Greenwood School District because there was an opening for each of them. Thus begins their third school district where they will work side by side.
“We really enjoy working together, and we make a great team, so that was definitely a plus that there were two positions open in the same district together,” Michele said. “And also we’ll be closer to family in that rural country setting, which is what we want.”
Joseph said Greenwood is a strong, supportive community, but that did not mean leaving New London was easy.
“I will miss Parkview immensely,” Joseph said. “It was just such a great building with such great people, great families, great kids. It was a really tough school to leave.”
Jody Peterson took over as Parkview Elementary School principal on July 11.
Joseph said he met with Peterson before he left and “dumped as much knowledge as I could in a couple hours” upon her.
“Parkview’s in a good spot,” he said. “It’s definitely going to be a school for you to watch out for, a lot of good things happening, a lot of good people.”
The Greens were especially proud of New London’s reading and writing workshop recently implemented in the elementary schools. They said it transformed the schools’ reading culture.
“It’s so heartwarming to see teachers and students talking about books and recommending books to each other, and that’s something we weren’t seeing before,” Michele said. “And now when you hand a child a book, their entire face lights up.”
Kathy Gwidt, who retired June 30 as New London’s district administrator, offered kind words for the Greens.
“We are happy (that) they are able to move closer to their hometown, but they are a remarkable team, and their leadership will be missed,” Gwidt said.
That teamwork will hopefully continue for the couple, Joseph said.
“Maybe we’ll retire together. Who knows,” Joseph said with a laugh. “You never know. We’ve got a long time to work yet.”