January 6, 2021tredwards

7 Candidates Submit Nomination Papers For DPI State Superintendent

7 Candidates Submit Nomination Papers For DPI State Superintendent Featured Image

On April 6, 2021 the people of Wisconsin will choose a new State Superintendent for the Department of Public Instruction to replace the outgoing Carolyn Stanford Taylor. Yesterday, January 5, 2021, was the deadline for the submission of completed Nomination Papers to appear on the ballot. On February 16, 2021, in a primary matchup, voters will decide which two of the seven candidates below will compete in the general election.

Sheila Briggs

Dr. Sheila Briggs, PhD, is currently assistant state superintendent. She leads the Division for Academic Excellence, which includes work on student standards, teacher licensing, educator preparation program approval, ESL and bilingual programming, American Indian studies, international education, gifted and talented, GED/HSED, academic and career planning, career pathways, youth and course options, graduation requirements, educator effectiveness, Title II A and B, Title III and early childhood.

Dr. Briggs received her bachelor’s and doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while receiving her master’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. She spent seven years as a classroom teacher before becoming a principal for six years, serving as elementary lead principal in Madison. She was the Director of Federal Programs for the Madison Metropolitan School District before joining DPI.


Joe Fenrick    

Joe Fenrick is a Fond du Lac High School science teacher and WEAC member. Fenrick is also a geology lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is serving in his third term as a Fond du Lac County Board Supervisor.

Fenrick is committed to leading as a teacher and credits his experience as an educator in the classroom for positioning him to improve the outcomes for students. He is an advocate for Community Schools and for a focus on teaching and learning, not over-testing.


Troy Gunderson

Troy Gunderson is a university professor at Viterbo University in La Crosse. Most recently before that, Gunderson was the Superintendent of West Salem School District for 10 years. He intends to use the framework offered by “No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State” as a guide for his administration.

Gunderson is from Colfax and attended Colfax Public Schools. He attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He earned a master’s degree from Winona State University. Gunderson spent seven years as a classroom teacher at Melrose-Mindoro High School and 16 years as a high school principal – one year in Princeton and 15 years in West Salem.  He then served 12 years as a school superintendent, two years at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau School District in Galesville, and 10 years for the School District of West Salem.


Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams

Dr. Shandowlyon Hendricks-Williams is the former Director of Governor Evers’ Milwaukee office and was also the DPI Education Administrative Director of Teacher Education, Professional Development and Licensing. Dr. Hendricks-Williams is an entrepreneur, author and coach. She is the founder of Project Hope, an adult family home aimed at providing housing for the developmentally disabled. She was a special education teacher and administrator in Milwaukee Public Schools before joining the privately run charter, Urban Day School, as instructional leader and district administrator.

Dr. Hendricks-Williams holds a bachelor’s degree from Springfield University, where she was Valedictorian, and a master’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University. In addition, Dr. Williams received her doctorate and her education specialist degrees from National Louis University.


Deb Kerr

Dr. Deborah Kerr is the CEO of Lead Greatly, LLC, a consultancy that supports educational leaders in equity, coaching and special projects. Dr. Kerr also serves as the Co-Chair for the UW-Milwaukee System Task Force to Advance Teachers and Leaders into the Pipeline. Dr. Kerr has Master and Doctorate degrees in Educational Leadership. Prior to starting Lead Greatly, Dr. Kerr was the Brown Deer School System Administrator for 13 years. Dr. Kerr recently held the roles of president for the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA).


Steve Krull

Dr. Steve Krull is the principal of Garland Elementary School, a Milwaukee Public School. He is a former Air Force airman and instructor, serving in the military for six years. He has 12 years of experience working in Milwaukee Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. Dr. Krull received a bachelor’s degree from Wayland Baptist University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Cardinal Stritch University. Dr. Krull earned his Doctorate in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


Jill Underly

Dr. Jill Underly has worked in all facets of public education from Pre-Kindergarten through higher education as a high school and middle school social studies teacher, a University of Wisconsin College of Letters & Science academic advisor, a Title I Consultant and assistant manager at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, an elementary principal and director of instruction, and most recently, a rural school district superintendent. Currently, Dr. Underly serves as the administrator for the Pecatonica School District.

Dr. Underly is from Northwest Indiana and received her Doctorate and Master of Art’s degrees in Educational Administration and licensure in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds a Master of Arts Degree in Secondary Education Curriculum and Instruction from the Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington.