Starting in a new school can always be a bit challenging; beginning amid a pandemic when virtual instruction is required brings about its own challenges. For Eugene Syvrud, it’s going to make it a tad more difficult to meet all of the Marshall High School staff and students as he begins his first year leading the building as principal.
After the June resignation of Sharin Tebo, the district went through the hiring process to fill the high school principal position and hired Syvrud about one month after accepting Tebo’s resignation.
Syvrud chose to apply as the next Marshall High School principal because he was looking to work in a district where students are put first, “that makes student-centered decisions and is willing to invest in their students and staff. I wanted to work in a school where I could know every student and their story. Living in Lake Mills I had heard that Marshall Public Schools truly cares about the success of their students and staff.”
He is looking forward to knowing all of those stories by building relationships with staff, students and members of the community. But, Syvrud –who is originally from Verona – knows doing so is going to be just one of the added challenges he will face while the 2020-2021 academic year starts out with virtual instruction.
Additionally, the principal and the rest of the administration are trying to ensure safety as staff, and eventually students, return to the school buildings.
“Making sure we have the proper PPE or cleaning supplies takes up time that you would have to do other responsibilities,” he said.
Also, due to COVID-19, several high school staff members have opted to resign from the district to care for family members.
“We have been very lucky to find some wonderfully talented people to fill the holes created by COVID,” Syvrud said.
The path to MHS
The principal initially wanted to become an educator and later school administrator because of the great people who helped him open doors to opportunities.
“I felt an obligation to them to pay it forward,” Syvrud said.
He earned his degree in elementary education (grades 1-8) from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and received a Master of Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.
Syvrud’s career in education started with middle schoolers; he taught science, social studies, math and physical education to seventh and eighth graders at Union Grove Middle School in Racine County for 10 years. The newest Marshall administrator than applied for and was hired as the assistant principal at Mitchell Middle School in the Racine Unified School District.
About 18 months later, Syvrud was hired as the activities director at Case High School, also part of the Racine Unified School District. He spent five and a half years as the AD before moving into the position of Academy Principal in charge of the school’s Construction, Automotive, Engineering and Manufacturing Academy and eventually became the Directing Principal of Case, which has an estimated student population of approximately 2,000.
When not serving the Marshall School District, Syvrud enjoys spending most of his free time with his two daughters, ages 9 and 14. He also dedicates some of his spare time to woodworking, gardening, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Badgers.