Sukawaty to be principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Port Washington
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield High School (MHS) Principal Steve Sukawaty is resigning his position while expressing concerns about the overall stability of the Marshfield School District.
Sukawaty will finish the school year at MHS and then take over as principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Port Washington on July 1.
He cited “personal and professional reasons” for his leaving the Marshfield School District. The district, Sukawaty said, knew he had interviewed for the new position, but he declined to comment as to whether he was leaving his Marshfield position under good circumstances.
He started at MHS in 2012 and said he was drawn to the school because, “It had such an excellent reputation.”
“At the time when I came, it was a remarkably stable district. It was incredible for its stability. No one left. No one left, and that was what brought me here,” Sukawaty said.
That district stability in terms of personnel turnover, Sukawaty said, has changed since he arrived in Marshfield.
“That has changed. Absolutely, that’s changed,” Sukawaty said. He did not comment as to whether or not the shift in stability impacted his decision to leave. In terms of his relationship with district administration, Sukawaty also offered no comment.
When asked what he hoped would be different in a new position, Sukawaty said, “I just hope for stability for myself and my family. I want to be able to put down roots in a community, and I had always hoped it would be here, but it just didn’t work out.”
When asked if he would have done anything differently at MHS, he said he would have liked to change the way the school day is scheduled, advocating for a more flexible structure.
“Our nine-period day is really, it’s difficult on students, and to teach in the confines of a 43-minute period is really difficult,” he said. “It would have been my next thing to get after.”
He said the current schedule is “very stressful for our kids, and it’s really tough on our teachers. To get really true learning in 43 minutes is tough.”
Sukawaty was an assistant principal at Homestead High School in Mequon prior to coming to Marshfield. He said he would miss being in Marshfield “immensely.”
“First of all, I love my staff and my students deeply,” he said. “My family loves living in Marshfield. We have great students and extremely supportive parents. This is a community that I had hoped to end my career in. That’s how much I love it.”
MHS’ strong performance on the ACT was one major achievement Sukawaty said he was proud of looking back at his tenure in Marshfield. He also mentioned changing some of the school’s homecoming traditions to make them safer and more appropriate as a point of pride.
“I’m just proud of our building culture overall,” Sukawaty said. “Our test scores have been continually going up.”
Sukawaty taught and was a guidance counselor for the middle school age group in the past and said his new position would be “rekindling my own ways.”
“I know the age group well,” he said. “I’m looking forward to just sort of going back to my roots I guess.”