District 833 will start the new school year with three assistant superintendents.
"I've been involved as an equity coordinator and a lot of the district initiatives with Julie and Mike," she said. "I'm really excited to start working at different a level."
Her hiring was approved by the South Washington County School Board at the Aug. 23 meeting.
The district created the new position with funds that became available by the impending retirement of interim facilities and construction management director Mike Vogel.
Instead of refilling that position, the district repurposed the funds to create the third assistant superintendent position.
Superintendent Keith Jacobus said they decided to shift the money to bolster the district's teaching and learning program, among others.
"We believed we needed more support for academics," he said. We're still very lean on administration.
He added: "It's primarily to support the schools and teaching and learning and moving our strategic plan plan forward and personalizing learning for kids."
Until recently, Vogel also held the title of assistant to the superintendent for operations. He was in charge of Nutrition Services, Transportation, and Facilities. Most of these duties were absorbed by other departments as Vogel shifted his focus to large construction projects in the district, which included the new Oltman Middle School. These responsibilities will be taken over by assistant director of facilities Kwame Ayim.
The district also plans to hire a Maintenance & Planning Manager, who will have oversight of the long-range facilities projects, said Shelly Schafer, director of communications and community relations.
Vogel's salary was $141,100 when he was working full time. Kristine Schaefer will be paid $150,973. The two positions are not interchangeable; assistant superintendents must be licensed through the state.
Schaefer was hired by the district in 1999. She was the assistant principal at Crestview Elementary, an elementary principal intern at Hillside and Pine Hill elementary, and a counselor at Park High School. She also served as principal of Woodbury Elementary School from 2006 through 2015.
Before joining District 833, Schaefer was the dean of students at Forest Lake High School.
She has a bachelor's and a master's from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and completed the educational administrative licensure program from St. Mary's University.
She is working towards her doctorate in educational leadership.
Plans are underway to hire her successor in the Equity Coordinator position.