W-F principal among applicants
By Angie Landsverk
The five people interested in becoming Weyauwega’s next city administrator share a common trait.
They all grew up in communities much like Weyauwega.
In fact, one of the candidates – Jeremy Schroeder – is a Weyauwega native.
“I was born and raised here. I’ve come full circle, said Schroeder, principal of Weyauwega-Fremont’s middle and high schools.
City residents had the opportunity to meet the five candidates during a Monday, June 26, open house, in the Community Room of the Municipal Building.
In addition to Schroeder, the candidates are David Detroye, John Foss, Adam Gitter and Dan Grady.
They were all back in Weyauwega Tuesday, June 27 for interviews with the common council and staff members.
The interview process also included a written exercise and tour of the city.
“After that, the council will deliberate with the staff,” said Russ Van Gompel, who is with Integrated Public Resources, a McMahon Group Company located in Neenah.
The common council hired Intergrated Public Resources to head the search for the city’s next administrator after Patrick Wetzel resigned to become the administrator in the town of Lawrence.
The city advertised on state and national websites.
Van Gompel said 29 people applied, and three of them dropped out of being considered for the position.
Two accepted other jobs, and he does not know why the the other person dropped out of the process.
“We had some strong candidates from outside Wisconsin,” Van Gompel said. “We looked at the strengths of the candidates and felt they (the five interviewed) are all a good fit with the community.”
Once the council decides which candidate it prefers, Van Gompel will likely be asked to negotiate the contract.
He anticipates a special common council meeting will be called prior to the council’s regular July 17 meeting to announce who is selected.
“I don’t anticipate an announcement tomorrow (June 27),” Van Gompel said during Monday evening’s open house.
A native of Kiel, Detroye is presently the assistant manager in the city of Delafield.
He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in marketing and said his path to public administration was not the typical one.
Detroye worked for brewing companies, including Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and MillerCoors, and also ran a sports bar and grill in Kiel for a number of years.
Being an entrepreneur in his hometown resulted in him getting to know people in the community and becoming involved in various organizations.
He likes the idea of putting his footprint on a small town.
Detroye said he has worked in a factory, done construction and landscaping and even plowed snow.
“I’m the typical small town, many hands make light work person,” he said.
He describes Delafield as a vibrant, wealthy, upscale community in which he seldom interacts with the public in his work.
Detroye received his master’s degree in public administration from UW-Oshkosh in 2015 and said he has learned a lot during his tenure in Delafield.
Growing up in Coloma, Foss quickly discovered a passion for economic development.
Whenever a business closed, he thought about who had worked there and how it affected them and the community.
He was in high school when his family moved to Omro, and he became the youngest member appointed to the community’s marketing board.
Foss graduated from UW-Oshkosh with a degree in political science and then joined the U.S. Army.
He was an intelligence analyst and also a French linguist when he was stationed in Germany.
After his service in the Army, Foss began working at the National Security Agency as a command language program manager.
In 2013, he returned to Wisconsin and became a peer support specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs office, in Appleton.
“When I got out of the service, I had a hard time adjusting to life,” Foss said.
He used services available to him and wanted to help others as well.
In 2013, he received his master’s degree in public administration from UW-Oshkosh.
He served as a Department of the Army unit administrator for about six months and is presently a Veterans and Military Affairs case manager for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.
Foss lives in Appleton and was elected to the Outagamie County Board last October.
“I really would like to come to a small town,” he said. “It would be great to see the fruits of my labor.”
A native of Kewaskum, Gitter lives in West Bend, and noted W-F High School’s mascot is the same as his hometown’s mascot.
He is the assistant program director at Wisconsin Community Services, a nonprofit in Sheboygan. Gitter works in its court services division.
Gitter is a UW-Oshkosh graduate, where he received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and later a master’s degree in public administration.
Before he completed his bachelor’s degree, he served in the U.S. Army, including one deployment to Afghanistan.
After Gitter finished his bachelor’s degree, he worked at a nonprofit in Kenosha and then at one in Waukesha County, before going to Sheboygan.
He sought a master’s degree in public administration with the goal of being a city administrator.
“I hear the words ‘economic development’ over and over,” Gitter said.
As someone who enjoys hunting and fishing, Gitter commented on the outdoor recreation opportunities in Weyauwega and said it is a beautiful area.
Born in Ohio, Grady said, “I spent a great portion of my life in a town very much like this one.”
Eventually, his family moved outside of Washington, D.C., and Grady graduated from a University of Maryland campus with a bachelor’s of art degree in history.
He worked for Wisconsin’s former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl in Kohl’s Washington, D.C. office.
“He taught me you should treat people with honesty, integrity and respect,” Grady said.
Grady said Kohl also taught him to be a good steward of resources.
After Grady moved to Wisconsin, he initially lived in Madison and then received a master’s degree in business administration from UW-Oshkosh.
He has worked in accounting and business management.
Grady lives in Appleton and last fall, was elected to his second term on the Outagamie County Board.
He said he is committed to making communities better places to live and said it would be an honor to serve the city of Weyauwega.
Born and raised in Weyauwega, Schroeder graduated from UW-River Falls with a degree in agricultural education.
He taught agriscience at Seymour Community High School for 13 years and also served as the school’s FFA adviser.
Schroeder’s involvement in the community included serving as an EMT, assistant fire chief and on the Outagamie County Fair Association.
In addition, he was also an adjunct instructor at two technical colleges.
He received a master’s in educational administration with a principal licensure from Concordia University and became the principal of W-F’s middle and high schools four years ago.
After Schroeder returned to his hometown, he eventually became involved in the Waupaca County Fair.
Last year, he became the new manager of the fair.
He describes the fair as one of his passions.
“I believe in community, bringing people together,” Schroeder said.