Current Stanley Switlik principal, Brett Unke, has been chosen as Sugarloaf School’s (SLS) next principal, according to Superintendent Mark Porter. Unke, will take over for current principal Harry Russell, who moves to the district’s Executive Director for Personnel Support and Instructional Leadership role beginning 2020-2021 school year.
“Mr. Unke is an exemplary leader and a strong advocate for public education,” Porter said. “His dedication and commitment to the students and professional educators he works with make him the ideal candidate for SLS.”
Unke, a Wisconsin native, is a 27 year veteran of the Monroe County School District. He holds two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s degree from Florida State University, as well as a Level II Principal certification. Unke began his career in education in 1993 at Sugarloaf School as a middle school Exceptional Student Education teacher where he taught students of varying exceptionalities. He also served as on the School Based Planning Team, as well as ESE department chair, 21st Century Site Coordinator and substitute Assistant Principal during his eight years at the school. While working at Sugarloaf Mr. Unke was part of the staff to contribute to the design and then occupy the new Sugarloaf middle school, a skill that would serve him well in his future endeavors.
Unke served as Assistant Principal of Stanley Switlik Elementary School (2005-2009) where he was responsible for overseeing the facilities rehabilitation from Hurricane Wilma damage, as well as the project coordination for the construction of the school’s new media center. Unke was named MCSD’s 2006-2007 Assistant Principal of the Year for his leadership during this challenging time. Unke then transitioned to the role of Assistant Principal of Horace O’Bryant School (2009-2013), where he oversaw the design and construction of the school’s new K-8th grade facilities, in addition to his daily duties.
As the Principal of Stanley Switlik Elementary School for the past seven years, Unke has implemented programs such as Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS), Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), while continually achieving 5 STAR and Gold ratings for the top rated elementary school. Unke was also the administrative lead for the construction the new Stanley Switlik Elementary campus in Marathon. His construction background will be tapped once again as Sugarloaf school enters the planning phase for its upcoming school construction project.
“Sugarloaf School is fortunate to have Brett Unke as their new principal,” said incoming Superintendent Theresa Axford, who also selected Unke as a member of the MCSD Back to School Task Force. “Brett’s ability to see all facets of a multi-tiered project to completion, coupled with his strong leadership skills will greatly benefit the students, staff, and families of Sugarloaf School.”
While he is proud of the great strides made at Stanley Switlik during his tenure, Unke is looking forward to his new journey at the school where he first started his lifelong passion as a career educator. “I am excited to return to where it all started,” Unke said. “My first priority, as always, will continue to be providing educational programming that serves the needs of all students equally.”