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Director of teaching and learning hired

Aug. 14, 2013

Germantown — The School Board on Monday approved hiring Brenda O'Brien as the new director of teaching and learning.

O'Brien is a Germantown resident and special education director for the Swallow School District in Hartland.

O'Brien is replacing Maria Kucharski, who left her post for one in the Whitefish Bay School District.

O'Brien will begin her position Aug. 22. Her starting salary is $101,500. Kucharski's salary was $104,000, according to the Germantown School District.

"I am very excited to just learn from all of the expertise that is already in the district and work with the teachers and staff to really enhance the quality instruction that is already in place," O'Brien said.

She began her career in education as a third grade teacher at Tonawanda Elementary School in the Elmbrook School District.

After three years, she transferred to Brookfield Elementary School to teach fourth grade for one year, followed by a year teaching fifth grade. Before moving to the Swallow School District, she served as an instructional resource teacher at Brookfield Elementary for five years.

For the last year and a half, O'Brien has served as the special education director at Swallow. She also worked as an instructional specialist there. The Swallow School District is a kindergarten through eighth-grade feeder district to Arrowhead High School.

As the director of teaching and learning, O'Brien will continue work on the reading and writing curriculum adoption that focuses on phonics, word study, vocabulary development and spelling. She will also work with the district as it continues to align curriculum with state standards.

"I think with the work that was initiated in the past years, she's going to be able to help us advance it in a very positive manner, and we're glad to have her on board," Superintendent Jeff Holmes said.

He said O'Brien is well-educated, articulate and brings a wealth of knowledge about curriculum development.

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