Mleziva named Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School principal
By Star-News staff
LUXEMBURG – Heather Mleziva has been named as the new principal of Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School.
Her appointment was approved by the district’s board of education at its March 29 meeting.
Mleziva will start in the position in July to replace current principal, Jolene Hussong, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
“We are very excited to have Ms. Mleziva join the district as the Intermediate School principal,” said Luxemburg-Casco Superintendent Jo-Ellen Fairbanks. “Her energy and skill set put her above the other candidates. We have confidence that she will not only continue the tradition of high academic achievement at the Intermediate School, but also be able to help the school grow in its ability to support the whole child.”
“Mleziva comes to the district with wide-ranging experience in the classroom, academic training in educational administration and extensive committee work that has expanded her personal skill sets,” stated a district release.
“She has been the eighth grade special education teacher at Denmark (Wis.) Middle School for the past six years. An integral part of her role has been to design and provide direct instruction in math, reading and writing, as well as support push in classes, with the end goal of preparing her students for the rigors of high school and a vastly different educational environment than they previously have been used to.
Mleziva was born and raised in Stevens Point, and attended Stevens Point Area Senior High.
She then attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth on a partial softball scholarship, pursuing a double major in elementary education and special education. Mleziva graduated summa cum laude, with a 3.87 GPA, in Nov. 2017 upon completion of her student-teaching requirement.
She said that since 2019 she has had a desire to help a greater population of students and that her goal became to impact more students on a large scale.
In June 2020, she began work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision.
She graduated in August 2021 with a 4.0 grade-point average, earning state licenses in principal and director of instruction.
She later added the license for director of pupil services and special education.
“I’m excited to become a part of the Luxemburg-Casco School District,” she said. “It is similar in size and values to my current district, and working with students in Grades 3 through 6 is very appealing to me.
Students in third through sixth grades are just beginning to find their independence, are willing to explore and experiment, have a love for school, and have their own ideas and opinions around various topics.”
Mleziva says that there are four pillars to her educational approach: relationships, a sense of belonging, knowledge and purpose.
She believes that it is important to create a relationship with everyone, and that belonging occurs when each person feels valued and heard.
Knowledge translates to teaching the correct skill sets for everyday life, according to Mleziva, and purpose is obtained by ensuring the creation of an environment where students become caring, contributing citizens.
Her philosophy is that all students, regardless of background, skill level or socio-economic status, can learn and be successful when given the right supports, opportunities, resources and care.
“I think it is important for people to know that I’m not planning to come in and make any major changes,” Mleziva added. “L-C Intermediate School has been a high-performing school under the leadership of Jolene Hussong. My priority is to listen and learn, and to be a partner who will make the best decisions using gathered information and feedback for our school and its students.
“I am looking forward to getting to know everyone, and will have an open-door policy. I want to have conversations with as many people as possible, listening to and learning from them.”
“At Denmark, Mleziva also served as the middle-school athletic director for the past two years, a role she believes will be beneficial in her new position at L-C Intermediate School. In the position, she led the recruitment and hiring of new coaches, along with creating a yearly evaluation process for all middle-school coaches. It also entailed budget oversight, facility and game scheduling, and communication with parents,” the district release stated.
“In another demonstration of responsibility, Mleziva was the designated interim principal for Denmark Middle School whenever the principal was away from the district.
“Through extensive committee work, Mleziva has furthered her understanding of the working relationships between adults as well as student behavior and needs, along with offering and accepting feedback, distributive leadership, and multiple facets of curriculum and assessments. She has served as a non-violent crisis intervention trainer/district coordinator, district instructional leadership team member and district teaching and learning team member. Mleziva also has been a cooperating teacher for two individuals, which saw her supervise, model, guide and evaluate teacher candidates while assisting with the development of their teaching skills.”
To ensure a smooth leadership transition, Mleziva will spend two days immersed in building operations with Hussong over the course of the current school year and will return on June 19 to spend a full week with the retiring principal.
Mleziva describes her own K-12 educational experience as a struggle at times, and believes that personal background gives her a greater understanding of those students who are having difficulty with school.
Mleziva is married to Wes Mleziva, a Green Bay native who teaches physical education at Denmark High School.