Southern Door Superintendent to Retire in December

After 23 and a half years serving as the District Administrator of Southern Door Schools, Joe Innis is retiring.

And while December 31 – the middle of the school year – may seem like an odd time to step down, it makes perfect sense to Innis.

“Quite honestly I think bringing someone in at midyear gives them the opportunity to see how the district is operating and to plan and organize for the upcoming school year,” he said. “If you come in July, you’re basically handed the operation and this plan for the year.”

Southern Door’s School Board let Innis decide when he wanted to leave, which Vice President Lori Sampo said is a tip of the hat for his years of service in the district.

“We were okay with it because he has been with us for so long and done such a great job for us that that was the least we could do to let him retire when he wanted,” Sampo said.

The school board has started searching for Innis’ replacement, Sampo said, and plans to announce the new district administrator by Dec. 12.

The board asked the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to help with the search, which it believes will help them find a solid candidate, Sampo said.

“We wanted to make sure we did [the search] correctly and had everything that we could possibly do to get another good superintendent,” she said.

While saying goodbye to someone with more than 20 years of experience is sad, Sampo said she looks forward to finding another great administrator to take Southern Door into the future.

Reflecting on his years at Southern Door, Innis said the best parts were the people and the progress they made together.

“I think we’ve made tremendous progress here in terms of student achievement…programs we’ve developed…facilities we’ve renovated, and I think we’ve built a strong educational program that will continue to pay dividends to the district and the students that attend here,” he said.