Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele today announced the appointment of Dr. Demond Means as commissioner of the Opportunity Schools Partnership Program.
Dr. Means, who currently serves as superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville School District and is a graduate of Milwaukee’s Riverside University High School, began his career in the classroom in 1994 and has since moved through the ranks of educational administration, serving as an assistant superintendent, human resources director, principal and assistant principal.
Under Dr. Means’ leadership, the Mequon-Thiensville School District is consistently ranked as one of the highest performing public school districts in the state, which has given him a platform to share best practices with other districts and serve as a leader in the movement to address racial disparity in local schools.
In 2010, Gov. Jim Doyle tapped Means to serve as a representative for the state of Wisconsin on the Education Commission of the States, and just last year State Superintendent Tony Evers chose Means to chair a statewide Task Force on Wisconsin’s Achievement Gap.
Dr. Means also has experience with early childhood education programs.
Last year, the Mequon-Thiensville School District added a 4K program that has exceeded expectations and increased enrollment for the district.
“In the classroom and as an administrator, Dr. Demond Means has made a commitment to reach and uplift every single child,” Abele said.
“His relentless pursuit of excellence, coupled with his background as a long-time social justice advocate and supporter of Milwaukee Public Schools, makes Dr. Means a unique fit to partner with MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver and the MPS community to strengthen our public schools.
We can all agree that our children, teachers, families and communities are better served when every child has the opportunity to achieve the kind of success in school that’s required to live a better life.”
“As a proud MPS graduate and native of Milwaukee who still has scores of family and friends directly impacted by the trajectory of educational opportunities in the city, the role of commissioner of OSPP is important to me.
As Milwaukee goes, so goes Wisconsin. It is imperative that we do everything in our collective power to assist in closing achievement gaps in Milwaukee and around the state,” Dr. Demond Means said.
“I have high expectations for the professionals entrusted with the responsibility of educating our students and am passionate about ensuring we maximize the academic, social, and emotional growth of all children.
I am excited to work with concerned citizens from Milwaukee, the region and the state to ensure that the city’s youth have greater access to high-quality educational opportunities.”
“In this role, I look forward to working closely with the MPS Superintendent of Schools and the MPS Board of Directors.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Darienne Driver and the work she’s doing to strengthen MPS.
Under her leadership, the school district employs some of the best, brightest, and most dedicated teachers you’ll find anywhere,” Means said.
“But I also know that even the most gifted teachers cannot overcome the challenges we are facing on their own.
Our children need more than just effective instruction — they need opportunities for their families and communities to engage with their schools, access to wraparound services that address issues outside the classroom, and teachers who are held to high professional standards and provided with practical training.
I look forward to soliciting input from MPS teachers, families and stakeholders at a public hearing in the coming weeks and working with Dr. Driver and Board President Dr. Michael Bonds in a transparent and collaborative way to improve outcomes for all of our kids.”
The state budget required that the county executive appoint a commissioner for the program within 120 days of the budget being signed.
That statutory deadline is Sunday, November 15.