Retiring superintendent weighs in on challenges facing public schools
BROOKFIELD - A reception and ceremony will be held Thursday evening for retiring Elmbrook Superintendent Matt Gibson.
Gibson is calling it a career after 40 years in education, 17 of them as the head of the Elmbrook School District.
"I feel a readiness to move on," Gibson said. "It's been a real privilege to work in a district as competitive as Elmbrook has been. Click to hear Erik's report on Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Wisconsin's Afternoon News
Gibson has seen a lot during his tenure, including the emergence of technology.
"(Technology) is all good in terms of access to information," he explained. "But the question is whether education should be more personalized or based on a common community of learning a set of basics."
The one thing that has never changed, the student.
It's been a hectic 18 months for the district, with the implementation of Act 10, the law that eliminated collective bargaining and gave districts the opportunity to cut costs. Gibson believes the law is helping Elmbrook.
"Overall it certainly narrowed the gap and helped our long-term financial plans," Gibson said.
Gibson credited the district's teachers for their continued professionalism throughout the ordeal. The issue prompted questions about the future of public schools.
"The good thing about the public school is that it causes the community to come together and own that together," he said. "The bad thing about the public school is the lack of options within it."
Public schools will survive, Gibson believes, but he said changes are necessary.
"I see a polarity right now. I hope it passes," Gibson said. "We (need) consistency with our education long-term so we don't have such a strong tug-and-pull during each political cycle like we do now."
A reception and ceremony for Gibson will be held Thursday, June 14 at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield. The event starts at 4pm.