By Karen Stokes
The Milwaukee Education Partnership (MEP) held a special reception to welcome the new Superintendents for Racine Unified School and Milwaukee Public School Districts.
Gerard Randall, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Education Partnership welcomed the two new superintendents and members of the MEP, Dr. Eric N. Gallien, Racine Unified School District, and Dr Keith P. Posley, Milwaukee Public Schools.
The reception was held at the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) that for years has been a creative environment that delivers curriculum and confidence using out-of-classroom spaces.
MPM President/CEO Dennis Kois, welcomed educators from neighboring Wisconsin school districts in attendance.
“The museum’s primary purpose of collecting, preserving, protecting, exhibiting, researching and formulating objects in our collection is to educate and that purpose is through school visits that we host,” said Kois. “This museum brings in 100,000 children. It’s the largest museum in the state and one of the oldest in the U.S.”
The Racine Unified School Board voted 8-1 to make Deputy Superintendent Dr. Eric N. Gallien the next superintendent of the Racine Unified School District. Gallien’s new leadership position began this month.
“It’s really humbling for me today, I grew up not even a mile from here. I would ask my mom if we could go to the museum and she would say, you know we don’t have money for that,” said Gallien. “Now I’m being celebrated in the same museum that I couldn’t afford to go to years ago.”
Gallien said his mother raised him, his brother and sister in a way that set high expectations for them and gave them enough rope to take risks.
“My leadership is strictly autobiographical. Unpacking the narrative of what can and cannot be done with children who come from humble beginnings. Some people call it poverty. Whatever you want to call it they have potential and when you see humanity in those children you can change the trajectory for all kids in this area,” said Gallien.
Dr. Keith P. Posley was appointed Interim Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools effective May 21, 2018, after Superintendent Darienne Driver departed MPS to become CEO of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Posley, a former teacher, principal and administrator has served for 29 years in a variety of positions for the Milwaukee Public School District.
“I’m not going anywhere, I’m here to stay,” said Posley. “As we commit ourselves to the success of every child, I will be focusing on Five Priorities for Success:
1)Student achievement and accountability
2) Develop the staff
3) Fiscal responsibility and transparency
4) Building district and school culture, working together as one unit
5) Clear, concise communication”
Posley thanked his wife, mother, staff, teachers, administrators, superintendents and representatives from universities. He also stressed the importance of working together.
“It’s truly going to take a village to make sure our children are going in the right direction,” said Posley. “We’re going to make it work, we’re going to make sure we are moving in the right direction and we’re going to show results. We’re going to make it happen in Milwaukee Public Schools,” Posley said.
Mark Sain, MPS, District 1 President who worked with both Gallien and Posley, recognized the educators from Franklin, Brown Deer, Racine, Milwaukee and West Bend school districts attended the event.
“When we talk about education, we talk about that village,” Sain said. “We have two brothers that are going to need the village to help them to propel what we need to be doing for the young people in our communities and it’s not just a Milwaukee thing, it’s not just a Racine thing but it’s what’s happening in Franklin, it’s what’s happening in West Bend. When it comes to education we really need to put our arms around our young people.”
Randall said since 1999, the MEP is an organization that brings together senior educators from around the city, business leaders as well as those who were involved in the nonprofit workforce development world that came together to bring young people to grade level academically, especially in reading, writing and science to get them into a 2 year or 4 year college and to ensure good teachers were in those classrooms with those students.
“We have a broad partnership of K-16 members and we believe that we are doing some great things in the community,” said Randall.