January 10, 2013

O4E Education Commission

Mission Statement

Our mission is to ensure that our schools prepare children to be productive, lifelong learners and who upon graduation are ready to start their careers and/or are prepared to enter an institution of higher learning.

Our Role

To carry out this mission, the Education Commission will be charged with the evaluation of measureable goals and monitoring progress in the development and implementation of the Oshkosh Area School District’s Strategic Plan.

The panel will report their findings to the OASD Board of Education and the public on a quarterly basis and at an annual communitywide presentation each fall.

The commission will work with key informants around issues of public interest in education and workforce development, bring to the forefront those issues and work with key partners to help the OASD accomplish the priority goals set in the strategic plan.

The commission and OASD develop a Communication Framework in 2014 to help guide communication of key messages tied to areas of distinction within our schools.

O4E Education Commission Members


Khurram Ahmad, Oracular

I have been part of Oshkosh Community since 1986 when I came from Pakistan to go to UWO. I did my Bachelors in Computer Science and joined up with Oracular doing consulting for area companies. My children are the product of Oshkosh school system and I am very grateful for that. This opportunity to serve allows me to give back, anything, that this city and the public education system can benefit from.

Tom Belter, National Exchange Bank

In November of 1992 I first walked into my new office in my new job in the unknown City of Oshkosh. That same day I attended the Chamber of Commerce annual meeting- knowing no one in the room, signed up for leadership Oshkosh and began to let this great city take over my life. 21 years later I am still doing my best to help us move forward as the Chairman of the Oshkosh Redevelopment Authority and the Chairman of the Oshkosh Chamber economic development advisory council. I firmly believe that education is a core requirement for the future success of Oshkosh.

A product of public education in Baraboo, with a business degree from UW-Madison and an MBA from UW-Whitewater I have been lucky to learn from many outstanding teachers and coaches who have taught me to strive to do my best. Oshkosh now has this responsibility to show everyone our best.

Kathy Bermingham, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce

A native of Oshkosh, Kathy served as Director of the Leadership Oshkosh and Youth Leadership Oshkosh programs at the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce from 2003 to 2016.  She is a graduate of Carroll College and attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, College of Business.  Kathy is an Oshkosh Public Library Board Trustee and Oshkosh Community YMCA Board member.

As an advocate for the rich tradition of Oshkosh schools, Kathy understands the strength they play in advancing the economic development and prosperity of our community.  She and her husband, John have two children, now adults, who graduated from Oshkosh North High School.

John Casper, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce

John A. Casper is the President and CEO of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, one of only seventy 5-Star accredited Chambers of Commerce in the US and the fifth largest Chamber in Wisconsin. He has served as the Oshkosh Chamber’s President and CEO since January 1991. He previously served as the Director of Commercial Development for the Oshkosh Chamber. He served as President of the Wisconsin Chambers of Commerce Executives Board of Directors and was a member of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Board and its Executive Committee. John received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. He completed the Institute for Organization Management, a nationally recognized leadership development program of the US Chamber of Commerce and was awarded a certificate in Organizational Management at the University of Notre Dame in 2000.

Trisha Castle, Oshkosh

Trisha attended the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and developed a passion for helping others, especially children. Upon graduation she worked as an AmericaReads Tutor and as an AmeriCorps member at Webster Stanley Elementary School. During that time she ventured into her biggest role as a wife and mother. In 2010, she joined the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Oshkosh.  This experience has been fundamental in enriching her passion for serving the needs of children.  Trisha is committed and eager to have a more active role within the Oshkosh school community.  She is married to Tom Castle, CEO of Castle Pierce, and they have two daughters attending school in the Oshkosh district.

Jamie Ceman, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Jamie Ceman is the chief communications officer in UW Oshkosh’s university communications office, Integrated Marketing Communications. Her role is to provide marketing and communications leadership for the University, colleges, departments, athletics and programs with a focus on recruitment, retention, community outreach and building the brand of UW Oshkosh.

Jamie’s background consists of a mix of IT/Web and marketing consulting and Internet strategy for a variety of industries including city and county government, B2B Internet marketing, and corporate marketing. She has worked throughout the Oshkosh area at J. J. Keller & Associates, Miles Kimball and Oracular.

Jamie is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she received a BBA in Management Information Systems, and she earned her Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications degree through West Virginia University.

Julie Dumke, Oshkosh Area School District

Julie Dumke and is a lifelong resident and the proud mother of 2 daughters. All three are products of the Oshkosh Area School District. She has been an educator in the OASD for 25 years where she have held several roles; classroom teacher, gifted and talented teacher, instructional support teacher and presently a peer coach and the community based learning coordinator. Each and every one of us, no matter who we are or where we live, have value to offer our community. Her goal is to bring our students out into the community and the community into our schools, together continuing to make Oshkosh the great place it is to live, work and play.

Lane Earns, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Lane Earns has been Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh since 2004. He has also served as a professor in the department of history since 1987.

Earns received his Bachelor of Arts degree in social science (international relations) and education from Michigan State University, a masters of arts in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Ph. D. in history from the same institution.

As a research specialist on Nagasaki, Earns lived and worked in Japan for six years and has conducted research in Nagasaki almost every summer since his move to Wisconsin. He has published two books and more than twenty journal articles on the city. In addition, Earns co-edited Crossroads: A Journal of Nagasaki History and Culture and presently co-edits a web site on Nagasaki.

Earns is a member of: the Editorial Advisory Board of the AAC&U publication Liberal Education; the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA); the Board of Trustees of the Paine Art Center and Gardens; and the Affinity Health System Board of Directors; as well as the UW System representative to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Board of Curators.

John Fitzpatrick, City of Oshkosh

John Fitzpatrick is the Assistant City Manager / Director of Administrative Services for the City of Oshkosh and has over 25 years of public sector experience ranging from work as a Custodian to Acting City Manager.

He holds degrees in Public and Environmental Administration from UW Green Bay, Business Administration with a special emphasis in Human Resource Management from UW Platteville and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from UW Oshkosh.

John’s experience was developed by working for a variety of University of Wisconsin System institutions as well as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation before accepting his position with the City of Oshkosh in 1999.

In his current position, John is responsible for supporting the City Manager in any and all responsibilities assigned by the Oshkosh City Council to the City Manager and also for performing all activities required of the Director of Administrative Services.

As Director of Administrative Services, John oversees several functional areas. These areas are; Central Services, Facilities Management, Oshkosh Community Media Services (Television Channels 2,10 and WOCT Radio 101.9 FM), Information Technology, Risk Management, Payroll, Benefits, Human Resources, Purchasing and Safety.

As Assistant City Manager, John researches, develops and manages the City of Oshkosh’s strategic planning, performance evaluation / management initiatives, supervises the City’s Management Assistant Program and is regularly assigned a variety of short-term projects by the City Manager. He also assumes the responsibilities of the City Manager in the event that the Manager is unavailable for any reason.

John represents the City of Oshkosh at various gatherings inside and outside the City. He acts not only as an administrator but also provides a direct link between our local government and the citizenry.

Allison Garner, OASD Board of Education

Deb Heath, Fox Valley Technical College

Dean of Transportation & Construction Technologies Statement: Connecting public education and our community is important to leverage collective resources and support economic development of our region. Collaborative Partnerships are necessary with business, industry, government and educational systems to energize economic potential.

Stephen Hintz, Community advocate

Stephen Hintz is a partner in Public Administration Associates, LLC, consultants to local governments. Most of his work consists of municipal organizational studies, council effectiveness and goal setting workshops, executive recruiting, and human resource classification and compensation studies. Until 2001, Hintz was a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where he directed the Master of Public Administration Program. Hintz also served as the executive secretary of the Wisconsin City/County Management Association from 1981 to 2001.

Hintz was a member of the City of Oshkosh Common Council from 1998 to 2004 and mayor from 2002 to 2004. He currently serves on the State of Wisconsin Farmland Advisory Council. In 2001, Hintz received the prestigious Stephen B. Sweeney Award for Academic Excellence from the International City/County Management Association for his work in promoting efficient and effective local government.

Hintz received a BA degree in economics from the University of Oregon and MA and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Yale University.

Erin Kohl, Oshkosh Area School District

For the past 19 years, I have spent my entire career serving the Oshkosh Area School District as a teacher and principal. I was principal at Lincoln Elementary School for 2 years, Washington Elementary School for 4 years, and was recently named principal of Oshkosh West High School. I grew up in Winneconne but have resided in Oshkosh for the past 19 years with my husband and our three children who all attend school in the Oshkosh Area School District. It is truly and honor to serve the students, staff, parents, and greater Oshkosh community!

Melissa Kohn, Fox Valley Technical College

Director, Oshkosh Campus Fox Valley Technical College Engaging in a working relationship with educational partners within the Oshkosh community can put us in a position to help shape the institutional practices that will benefit and support the community at large.

Megan Hoopman Lang, First Weber Group

I am a lifelong resident of Oshkosh and a proud graduate of the Oshkosh Area School District and UW Oshkosh! Professionally, I am a Realtor at First Weber Group and a partner in Black Teak Properties, LLC, which owns commercial and residential properties primarily in Downtown Oshkosh. I currently serve on the following boards in the community: Downtown Oshkosh Business Improvement District (BID), Oshkosh YMCA and Hooper Community Center. In the past I have served on several other boards, some include: Propel, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Oshkosh Area Economic Development Corporation and NeighborWorks.

I believe that having a top quality education system in our community is important on a variety of levels and crucial for our community’s long term success. Access to great schools and opportunities throughout the District help ensure the future of our entire community and all of our neighborhoods. Through my career in real estate, I am constantly working with people who are evaluating “where they want to live” and a part of that consideration is almost always the education system. I want our community to attract new residents and retain residents in part, because of our top quality education system and opportunities available throughout the community!

Dr. John Leschke, Mercy Medical Center

John M. Leschke, M.D., MBA, is an Oshkosh native who graduated from Lourdes Academy in 1976. John received his undergraduate education at the University of Dallas and the University of Wisconsin. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he also completed his residency in anesthesiology. John is a co-founder and the president of Anesthesia Services of the Fox Valley. He received his MBA from UW Oshkosh in 2009, after which he became a managing partner at Green 3 Apparel in Oshkosh. In addition to practicing anesthesiology, John has been the Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Medical Center for the past two years and also serves on the Mercy Medical Center Foundation Board.

Stan Mack, Oshkosh Area School District

Oshkosh Superintendent of Schools, Stan F. Mack II, in his 41st year in public education, is a native of New Ulm, Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Teaching from Minnesota State University, Mankato, a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and Education Specialist Equivalency in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and is currently completing the requirements for Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

His educational career includes experience as a special education teacher, Director of Special Services, Superintendent of Schools, Assistant Superintendent and Executive Director of the Minnesota Board of School Administrators.

Mr. Mack and his wife, Margaret Leibfried, who is a recently retired principal of an award-winning middle school in Minnesota, have three grown sons.

Dr. Brandon B. A. Miller, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Dr. Brandon B. A. Miller began his role as the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s first Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management on July 27, 2015.

Miller came to UW Oshkosh from Ellucian, a provider of higher education software, services and analytics. There, he led student success services within the Management Consulting Group focusing on strategic services for student success.

Before Ellucian, Miller served as the director for enrollment management and retention at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, where he served as the chief enrollment management and retention officer. He was responsible for student recruiting and outreach, undergraduate academic advising, the office of the registrar and academic records, student financial assistance, undergraduate admissions, veteran’s affairs, persistence initiatives and the university’s Fort Hood Educational Center. Miller previously served as the assistant vice president of student success at Baylor University, where he was responsible for the student success and enrollment management of 14,000 students. He also served in student success-related roles at Southern Methodist University, the University of Florida and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Miller holds degrees from the University of North Texas Denton (Texas) and Baylor University, as well as a master’s degree in higher education administration from Texas Tech University.

Sue Panek, Oshkosh Area United Way

Sue Panek is currently the Executive Director of the Oshkosh Area United Way, a position she has held for the past 20 years. Committed to lifelong learning she is most interested in a “cradle to career” approach to education, especially in the area of early learning – birth to five. She was awarded the “Friends of Education” award in 2006 from the Oshkosh Area School District.

Prior to United Way, she worked for two Girl Scout Councils (Wausau, WI and Utica, NY) where she gained hands-on experience in an informal educational setting with girls and adults. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of WI La Crosse in Recreational Leadership and a Masters of Management from the State University of NY, Binghamton, NY

Julia Salomon, Affinity Health System

Julia Salomon is the Corporate Dietitian for Affinity Health System and Community Health Improvement Leader for St. Elizabeth Hospital. Before joining Affinity in 2011, she worked as a state specialist in nutrition with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, focusing on expanding the school breakfast program throughout Wisconsin. Julia earned her bachelor’s degree in bacteriology and her masters degree in community nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Rural Health Initiative of Outagamie County and the Community Advisory Board for the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Julia has lived in Oshkosh since 2009 with her husband, Mark, and her daughter Sofia, who attends ALPs. Julia serves on the Governing Council at ALPS, and prior to that, was the Vice President of the Oakwood PTO. She also serves on the Oshkosh School Wellness for Students committee.

Patti Andresen-Shew, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce

Patti Andresen-Shew manages and implements Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce-sponsored college and career readiness programs for students in Oshkosh schools. She functions as the advocate between Chamber member businesses and the K-12 and post-secondary education systems. She also represents the Oshkosh Chamber in regional labor skill development efforts and initiatives. BACKGROUND: Patti is a member of Kiwanis and life-long resident of Oshkosh. She has received bachelor’s degrees in psychology and human services and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Prior to accepting her position with the Chamber, she held positions in sales, marketing and human resources. She resides in Oshkosh with her husband and son, who attends Oshkosh North High School. PERSONAL STATEMENT: I feel strongly that providing a quality education for students is paramount to our long-term business and economic development of the community.

Dean M. Smith, Chief of Police, Oshkosh Police Department

Chief Smith has more than 27 years of law enforcement experience with 16 years as a command level officer. His law enforcement career began in 1988 at the North Augusta Police Department in South Carolina. In 1989, he was hired by the Suffolk Police Department in Virginia, and retired Jan. 1, 2016, as Deputy Chief. He was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Oshkosh on Jan. 7, 2016. Chief Smith has a wide variety of police operational and command experiences, ranging from managing a department budget and major criminal investigations to incident command in catastrophic events such as hurricanes and tornados. At the Suffolk Police Department, Chief Smith held command positions in all areas including Uniform Patrol Precincts and Criminal Investigations and Administration. He was the commanding officer for the department’s SWAT Team for seven years and the Dive Team for 10 years. He led the implementation for virtually all new technology initiatives for the Suffolk Police Department since 2004 and developed the Computer Crimes Unit, Taser program and Body Worn Camera program.

Burk Tower, former Oshkosh Mayor and retired University of Wisconsin Oshkosh faculty and administrator

A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Burk received a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the University of Cincinnati. He received an MBA and doctorate in Business Economics and Public Policy from Indiana University. He served as a faculty member at the University of Kentucky before joining the faculty at UW Oshkosh, where he served as Assistant Dean and Director of Graduate Programs in the College of Business. He served as interim dean from 2008 to 2010, and has served as associate dean, department chair and faculty development director before retiring in 2010.

Tower was elected to the Oshkosh City Council in 2004 and served six terms, including two as Mayor. He ended his run in city politics 2015.

Burk and his wife, Chris, live in Oshkosh and have four children and six grandchildren.

Jason White, Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp.

Jason White is CEO of the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation (GO-EDC) and has 15 years of professional leadership experience working for governmental institutions and public/private non-profit organizations.

White was formerly the executive director of the Warren County Economic Development Corporation (WCEDC) in Indianola, Iowa. White also has served as executive director for the Midwest Partnership Development Corporation, a four-county economic development group in west central Iowa, executive director of the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation in south central Iowa, and redevelopment specialist for the City of Coralville, near Iowa City. He has held political positions in the Iowa House of Representatives, Iowa Senate, and as a campaign consultant.

White and his wife, Kelly, grew up in western Dubuque County, Iowa. They have three kids – Nathan (10), Emma (8), and Claire (5).

Beth Wyman, Chairperson, Education Commission

I have been an active community initiative participant for many causes since my return to Oshkosh in 1988. My husband, Bill and I graduated from UWO in 1980 and explored different areas of the country before returning to make Oshkosh our home. It is not until you return to this city that you realize the benefits that the community offers especially as it relates to raising a family. The public school system in Oshkosh has offered my children not only wonderful educational learning opportunities, but also team building, sports, social and arts experiences. The inspiration and mentoring shown to them by teachers and coaches helped mold them into the people they are today. I believe it is important for us to connect our public school system with our community to bring out the positive qualities inherent in both. Together, we can make great things happen.

Currently, I am member of the UWO Foundation Board and Vice Commodore of the Inland Lakes Yachting Association Board. My husband and I own The Waters and UFIT Personal Training. We are dedicated to making Oshkosh better place to live, work and play.

Bill Wyman, Oshkosh Area Community Foundation

Bill Wyman born and raised in Oshkosh WI. He attended Ripon College and graduated from UWO in 1980. He was employed in his family business, Oshkosh B’Gosh, sitting on the BOD and working in many different marketing/sales areas for 25 years, until the business was sold in 2005. In 2007 Bill and his wife, Beth, purchased UFIT Personal Training and The Waters and have been successfully running these businesses for the last 6 years.

Bill has a strong passion for Oshkosh. He has been involved in many non-profit community minded boards. He is committed to make Oshkosh a great place to live and raise a family.

Inquires about the O4E Education Commission may be directed to Beth Wyman at eawyman55@gmail.com.