Superintendent Messages

A Message from Superintendent Thompson - March 2017

We are blessed to be able to provide incredible opportunities for our students through the amazing work of our staff, positive support of our school board, and collective efforts of our parents and community members. On behalf of our students, thank you for your commitment and trust! When I think of why we continue to make gains for students, I think of our focused and aligned efforts through our Eye on the Goal, our annual strategic plan (see image below). Our plan keeps us focused on what is important to meet our mission of every student learning, growing, and succeeding and our vision of being the district of choice.

We focus on how students learn; our entire staff works exceptionally hard on the action steps we have set into motion in order to make a difference. This is exciting work because we know there will be long-term benefits seen in the years to come. For the 2016-17 school year, we continue our commitment to increasing reading achievement for all students, ensuring annual academic achievement growth for all students, promoting a positive work environment for our staff and deploying the master plan projects, including those supported by our community through the April 2016 referendum.

I would love the opportunity to discuss our district’s plan or any other topics with anyone interested. To this end, please consider joining me for a Conversation with the Superintendent on April 24, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. at the Educational Services Center – S87 W18763 Woods Road. If this date/time does not fit your schedule and you are interested in meeting, please contact me to schedule an individual meeting.


With Gratitude,

Kelly Thompson,  Ph.D.

A Message From Superintendent Thompson - October 2016

We are off to an excellent start to another fabulous school year! There are many exciting things happening across our system that continue to demonstrate our commitment to our mission of every student learning, growing, and succeeding and efforts toward reaching our vision to be the district of choice. We are proud to provide an exceptional learning environment for the nearly 5,000 students we serve. Unique to our system is our tremendous focus on our annual strategic planning process, termed Eye on the Goal (EOTG) (pictured below). This plan aligns our practices and efforts toward a common vision and mission. Our practices result in actions that set the direction and focus for our district. Department and building- level EOTG plans have a uniform design and approach. As a result, our system is integrated and aligned – we are all moving in the same direction. The more intentional we are at measuring outcomes, the more likely we are to reach heightened levels of success. The EOTG plans ensure that we focus on what is important, set goals and action plans, and then monitor those goals and action plans for progress.

EOTG plans are developed annually during school/department- level EOTG team meetings and Leadership Team Retreats in June and August. Plans are updated throughout the year at monthly Strategic Leadership Team meetings, department meetings, and through the articulated school-level EOTG process. Plans are communicated to the Board each year in fall, winter, and summer.

We are thankful for the constant and positive involvement of our parents, school board, and community stakeholders. Your involvement, coupled with a dynamic staff across all workforce sectors provides a recipe for success for all students in Muskego-Norway.


Wishing all a wonderful 2016-17 school year,

Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.

A Message from Superintendent Thompson - March 2016

It is a tremendous honor to serve the students, staff, parents and the community in Muskego-Norway. As we continue to work collectively in pursuit of our vision to be the district of choice, the board will be asking the community, through an April 2016 referendum, to invest in a facility solution to address aging elementary schools.

This effort began in 2014 when the school board established a Master Planning Committee (MPC) to study facility needs. The MPC, which included 36 community members along with district staff and administration, identified several key facility issues that were recommended to the board for their consideration. In fall, the district sought input through a community survey to determine which facility needs were most important. In response to the community’s feedback, the April 5, 2016 referendum will focus on addressing the district’s aging elementary schools and the other projects identified as needs will remain on the master plan until solutions to address and resolve them are established and deployed.

The April referendum will ask community members to consider investing $43.18 million dollars, to close Tess Corners Elementary and Muskego Elementary, moving those students and staff to the remaining three elementary schools. Mill Valley Elementary will be renovated to accommodate more elementary students, and the Country Meadows Elementary/Bay Lane Middle School complex will be renovated to support only elementary aged students. Site improvements at Lakeview will be addressed and a new school will be built on district-owned land to accommodate middle school staff and students.

Although our facilities are well-maintained and we are making the best of the spaces our community has entrusted to us, we have reached the point where we need to consider how much we invest into 90-year-old buildings. The plan moves the district away from continuing to pour money into aging schools and invests in learning environments that better align with our community’s expectations and the excellent instruction currently provided to our students. The tax impact of the plan is $.20/$1,000.

For more information, please go to the district website at, attend an Open House, or contact me directly.

With Gratitude,

Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.


A Message from Superintendent Thompson - August 2015

It is an honor to be working alongside an incredibly talented staff, dedicated board members, involved parents, and positive community members on behalf of our students as we strive to meet our vision To Be the District of Choice. In 2013, with the input of educators, staff, parents, students and community members, we created a multi­year strategic plan, which we call our Eye on the Goal (EOTG). Our EOTG (pictured below) articulates the deliberate choices we are making to focus our efforts in the years ahead to ensure we meet our mission of Every Student Learning, Growing ... Succeeding and reach our long­term goals of providing High Quality Innovative Practices, being a Top 3 District for Student Achievement, ensuring Strategic Allocation of Resources, and being a Destination Workplace.

Each year, we review our plan and develop annual Key Performance Objectives (KPO) aligned with each of our focus areas and goals aligned with our metrics. Our 2015­16 annual KPOs are: 1) Increase reading achievement and growth; 2) Develop/deploy student goal setting processes in reading (grades K­4) and design an Academic and Career Plan Process (grades 5­12); 3) Ensure staff have opportunities to engage and professional development and positive/healthy activities to increase a sense of well­being; and 4) Deploy innovative solutions to facility needs and insurance costs.  

The path forward is an exciting one and I am honored to be on this journey with you as we continue to bring focus and clarity to our efforts that are designed to enhance the educational experience for each and every Muskego­Norway student.


Wishing all a wonderful 2015­-16 school year,

Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.” ­ Nelson Mandela



A Message from Superintendent Thompson - April 2015

Muskego-Norway Schools believes strongly in our mission of EVERY student learning, growing, and succeeding. For us, success and failure is not based on innate ability, a “fixed” mindset, but on grit, learning, and hard work, a “growth” mindset. Educators target their praise on the efforts students put forth to better their understanding, deepen their thinking, and endure through challenging tasks. Missteps and wrong answers offer an opportunity for improvement. The culture in our schools helps nurture success. Here are some points of pride: 

  • “District Exceeds Expectations” – Department of Public Instruction. 
  • “Significantly Exceeds Expectations” – Lakeview Elementary and Muskego High School - DPI. 
  • “AP Honor Roll” – College Board. u Grade 4 and 10 reading proficiency in top third of Waukesha County districts. 
  • Division 1 State Runner-Up – Girls Varsity Volleyball. 
  • Classic 8 Conference Champions – Boys Football, Boys Volleyball, and Boys Basketball. 
  • Lake Denoon Choir and Muskego High School Band selected to perform at state-level conferences. 
  • More than doubled the number of students enrolled in Transcripted/Dual credit courses since 2013 (300 to 752). 
  • Increased enrollment in AP courses by more than 200 since 2011 (over 800 enrollments in 2014). 
  • Approximately 89% of MHS students who enroll in college return for a second year. 

We also believe strongly in our vision of being the district of choice in southeastern WI. To this end, we focus adult efforts on exemplary teaching and learning, highly effective personnel, continuous improvement, and sound stewardship of resources. We measure our efforts and track our success to grow every student in their academic literacy, engagement in learning, and readiness for college and careers.

It is a tremendous honor to serve MNS,

Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.



A Message from Superintendent Thompson - August 2014

Muskego-Norway Schools is a place where we love what we do, believe that it matters and strive to make a difference for those we serve. The outstanding performance of our students has earned our district and schools recognition in 2013-14:

  • “District Exceeds Expectation” by the WI Department of Public Instruction
  • “National Blue Ribbon Award” to Country Meadows Elementary by the US Department of Ed
  • “Most Challenging High School” by the Washington Post
  • “AP Honor Roll” by the College Board.

Our mission is Every Student Learning, Growing ... Succeeding. We bring our mission to life each and every day across the system through the efforts of many hard working, engaged staff that cultivate a learning environment that personalizes, nurtures and holds students to rigorous expectations. Students 4K – 12th their capacity, build their confidence and help them realize their dreams and aspirations. It has been my honor to serve as superintendent of this fine organization for the past two years. I have had the pleasure working alongside our dedicated staff for more than 20 years, serving our 4800 students in five (5) elementary, two (2) middle schools, and one (1) high school.

We are a system committed to ensuring:

  •    A high-achieving student learning environment
  •    An environment that attracts, develops and retains high-impact staff
  •    A district worthy of strong community support
  •    A system-wide continuous improvement focus
  •    Long-term financial sustainability and resource stewardship

We prioritize and focus our efforts to enhance: Academic literacy; Meaningful engagement; College and career readiness for all students.

Our 2014-15 Key Performance Objectives, targeted efforts aligned to our four (4) core competencies, are:


  • Increase reading achievement and growth for all students.


  • Integrate staff effectiveness models to enhance proficiency across our system.


  • Expand personalized learning system-wide in order to maximize the potential of all students being college and career ready.


  • Deploy innovative solutions to wellness, compensation and facility needs. What sets our district apart from others is the unique aspect of the constant and positive involvement of our parents, school board and community stakeholders. Their involvement coupled with a dynamic staff across all workforce sectors provides a recipe for success for all of the students in Muskego-Norway.  Together, we will reach our vision of being the district of choice.


Wishing all a wonderful 2014-15 school year,

Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.



A Message from Superintendent Thompson - March 2014

 “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” We are reminded of this quote from William Butler Yeats each time we discuss our deliberate efforts to achieve our strategic plan. At the center of our discussions is the “why” of our actions. “Why” do we provide exemplary teaching and learning, ensure that highly effective personnel are working with our students, take steps to continuously improve and guarantee sound stewardship of resources? The answer is embedded in our mission. We focus our adult behaviors so that we ensure that every student is learning, growing and succeeding. We measure the effectiveness of our efforts to increase student learning through academic literacy, meaningful engagement and college and career readiness metrics.

     So much of learning depends on inspiration, effort, and confidence. During the winter, when our world is cold and dark, teachers reach students by nurturing warmth—and inspiring light — on the inside. We are in a great place where students are first, achievement, engagement and readiness are the focus and great people make it happen. I am confident that the best is yet to be and I am excited to continue our journey together into the future that is filled with hope.


Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.



A Message from Superintendent Thompson - August 2013


As a district of nearly 5,000 students, Muskego-Norway Schools provide a highly successful learning environment for students in grades 4K through 12th.  The district continues to cultivate strong community support and pride through its efforts to ensure that every student learns, grows and succeeds in rigorous, relevant, and personalized experiences.

During the 2012-13 school year, the school board along with district staff, students, administration, parents and community members underwent a full review of the district’s direction and key efforts through a strategic planning process.  Over the next three years, Muskego-Norway is committed to increasing academic literacy, meaningful engagement and college and career readiness for all students through targeted efforts in our core competencies of exemplary teaching and learning, highly effective personnel, continuous improvement and sound stewardship of resources.   Our seven 2013-14 Key Performance Objectives (KPOs) are:

  1. Implement Corollary Questions and Response to Intervention
  2. Reduce Achievement Gap
  3. Increase Higher-Order Questioning and Critical Thinking Practices
  4. Deploy Staff Effectiveness Models
  5. Increase Personalized Learning Opportunities
  6. Study Self-Funded Plan
  7. Construct Total Rewards Compensation Model

Understanding the importance of a strong strategic plan, our system has embedded our mission into all aspects of the organization.  It focuses on our purpose and provides a line of sight for our improvement efforts.  We prioritize our work with responsibility and integrity, using our five beacon statements that exemplify our values in maintaining a high-achieving student learning environment, an environment that attracts, develops and retains high-impact staff, a district worthy of strong community support, a system-wide continuous improvement focus and long-term financial sustainability and resource stewardship.

We are encouraged by the progress our system has made in serving our students and look forward to enhancing partnerships that will further support the achievement of our vision to be the district of choice in southeastern Wisconsin.

Wishing all a wonderful 2013-14 school year,

Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.



A Message from Superintendent Thompson - February 2013

It has been an amazing seven months transitioning into the superintendent role. I have enjoyed meeting parents, community members and business owners at various student and community events, working alongside our outstanding staff, supporting our dedicated school board and observing the wonderful learning students are engaged in across our excellent schools. Thank you for your exceptional children; they are the focus of all we do.

We continue to make progress on our nine 2012-13 key performance objectives (KPO) and expect to accomplish our action plan by year’s end.

2012-13 KPOs:

  1. Achievement Gap Reduction
  2. 4K and Middle School Program Change Reviews
  3. Standard-Based Grading Practices Study
  4. Response to Intervention (Universal Screeners, Interventions and Progress Monitoring) Implementation
  5. Strategic Planning Development
  6. Retirement Plan Revisions
  7. Teacher Compensation Study
  8. Curriculum Review Process Implementation
  9. Technology Infrastructure and Personalized Learning Enhancement

The rapidly changing work environment demands that we embrace a fresh approach to education, one that takes into account the reality that many doors will open to our graduates if they have been properly prepared. As we plan for the future and prepare our students for the world they will inherit, we will need to enhance our service delivery model in an effort to educate all our students.

We have great opportunity before us as we work to develop our next multi-year strategic plan. The plan is currently being developed with the input of a strategic planning team comprised of students, parents, teachers, community members, and administrators. Along the way, through various conversations with broader stakeholder groups, input has been sought from staff at each building, our parent advisory team, the Chamber of Commerce, student groups, the school board and the leadership team. I am sincerely grateful to all who have participated in the process to date.

The new plan will build from our current mission of “Every student learning, growing… succeeding” and vision of “…being the district of choice in Southeastern Wisconsin.” Moving forward, the expectation is that all students will be: 

  • Academically Literate
  • Highly Engaged
  • College and Career Ready

To this end, as an organization we will commit to providing exemplary teaching and learning, highly effective personnel, continuous improvement and sound stewardship of community resources. We expect to share the details of the strategic plan with the community later in spring.

Public schools are only as strong as the communities they serve. Muskego- Norway has always had a strong support of community and for that we are grateful. Through our collective efforts we will continue to make a difference for all children.

Thank you for the incredible opportunity to serve the students, board, staff and citizens of this great community.


Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.




A Message From Superintendent Thompson - September 2012

With the support of many, the transition to the superintendent role has been smooth. It is a pleasure to be working alongside outstanding staff and students in an environment that seeks continuous improvement and is supported by a strong community. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to continue supporting the focused efforts of this organization. With every step of my career, it is clearer that this is a very special place to learn and grow. Understanding the importance of a strong strategic plan, our system has embedded our mission into everything we do. It focuses us on our purpose and provides a line of sight for our improvement efforts. We work through challenging times with responsibility and integrity, using:

Beacons that Guide Our Decisions:

  1. Provide a high-achieving student learning environment
  2. Provide an environment that attracts, develops and retains high-impact staff
  3. Provide a district worthy of strong community support
  4. Enhance system-wide continuous improvement and mission/vision achievement
  5. Seek long-term financial sustainability and resource stewardship

The 2012-13 school year marks the fifth year in our district’s five-year strategic plan. Establishing the next strategic planning process is a key performance objective (KPO) for next year as we continue to create a clear and relevant path through which we will achieve our mission of “every student learning, growing … succeeding” en route to our vision of being “the district of choice.”

We are thankful for the collective energies and efforts of our staff in establishing strong strides to the progress of our system. It is our promise to the community that we continue to provide high quality instruction within a well-organized and supportive system so that each and every student learns, grows and succeeds.


Wishing all a wonderful 2012-13 school year,

Kelly Thompson, Ph.D.



  • Muskego-Norway School District
  • S87 W18763 Woods Road, Muskego, WI 53150
  • Phone: 262-971-1800  •  Fax: 262-679-5790