Rhonda Hare’s love of literature led to her decision to study English.
“That was just my love – literature, especially children’s literature,” she said.
Hare, who grew up in southeastern Wisconsin, graduated from Ripon College with a degree in English.
Next, she headed to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for her elementary certification.
Of her decision to take her love of literature into the classroom, Hare said, “I personally think, and I’m little biased, that once you can read, you’re empowered for life. That’s what I wanted to be part of.”
Her first teaching job was on the Menominee Indian Reservation. She taught first grade there for two years and said it was a great experience.
Then, Hare was hired by the Clintonville School District, where she spent a total of 16 years – first as a reading teacher and then as the district’s reading specialist.
Her master’s degree in reading is from UW-Oshkosh, and last winter, she received her director of instruction and principal license from Marian University in Fond du Lac.
At the time she received the license, there was not an administrative opening in the Clintonville School District, and Susan Davenport had announced she would retire from the Waupaca School District at the end of the 2011-12 school year.
Davenport was the district’s director of instruction and the principal of Chain O’ Lakes Elementary School in Waupaca.
Hare applied and was hired.
“I was shown around this district. It was a perfect fit,” she said.
Of her role as the district’s director of instruction, Hare said, “It is about keeping the joy of learning for the kids, and at the same time, as the standards are getting higher, teaching to higher standards.”
She said her philosophy as an administrator is, “Teachers are the ones who work the magic. My job is to help them do that.”
Her role is to also align the district’s curriculum with the Common Core Standards, that are in the process of being implemented.
Hare is also getting acquainted with the students and staff at Chain O’ Lakes Elementary.
She said the Chain School is known for its excellent teachers and test scores. This school year, she is challenging them to do even better.
Hare also likes the district’s culture and attitude toward education, saying everyone cares about the students, from the school board to the community.
She and her husband Mike have moved here. They have three daughters – Julia, Jenna and Jocelyn. Julia is a freshman at Concordia University, Jenna is a sophomore at WHS, and Jocelyn is a first grader at the Chain School.
In her free time, Hare likes to read, especially young adult books, and also enjoys gardening and traveling.
During college, she worked at a greenhouse and floral shop and has always seen a parallel between tending and caring for flowers and doing the same for children.
“I believe that the teachers are the ones making the magic happen in education,” she said.