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From the Valley to the Falls: River Falls picks new school superintendent

Photo from the Ft. Atkinson Daily Jefferson County Union.

Jamie Benson, a superintendent for 15 years at River Valley School District near Madison, has tentatively accepted an offer from the River Falls school board to be the local district's next superintendent. Benson would succeed Tom Westerhaus who is retiring as River Falls superintendent at the end of June after five years.

School Board President Stacy Johnson Myers said this about the hiring Tuesday night, April 30: "This decision marks the end of a long and thorough search process...Jamie impressed the board with his command of educational issues, his vision for education, and his emphasis on the importance of doing what is best for kids."

Besides River Falls, Benson was also a superintendent finalist for the Fort Atkinson School District.

He is married, has three adult children and is a grandfather.

Benson has also been a middle school principal and taught middle school math.

He's been with the River Valley School District for 20 years, including as its assistant superintendent. The district's enrollment is just over 1,500, about half the size of River Falls.

River Valley is a consolidated school district comprised of 13 towns and four villages located in four counties - Sauk, Iowa, Richland and Dane. It is one of the larger geographic school districts in Wisconsin with 264 square miles.

Other finalists for River Falls superintendent were Barry Cain, former Meyer Middle School principal and current Ellsworth School District superintendent, and Donald Haack, Spooner School District superintendent.