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Joel Graham


BURLINGTON — The Burlington Area School District Board approved the appointment of Joel Graham as principal for Lyons Center and Winkler Elementary Schools at its March 18 meeting.

Graham’s 19 years of teaching and administration experience in the district has prepared him for this new role. He has served as Assistant Principal at Burlington High School since 2015. Before that, he taught science in the district at both Karcher Middle School and BHS.

“Joel’s leadership as an administrator as well as his familiarity with the community makes him a sound choice for the position,” said Connie Zinnen, assistant superintendent for instructional services. “He understands the district’s instructional goals around building essential skills, universal access and utilizing best practices to teach our students.”

Graham received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. He and his wife, Sara, live in Burlington with their three children who attend Burlington Area School District schools. Graham has also served as a coach for several youth programs in the community.

“I am excited and honored for the opportunity to serve Lyons Center and Winkler schools,” Graham said. “Both schools have strong academic traditions and tremendous school cultures. We will continue to build on these strong traditions by working collaboratively with staff, students and families. “

Assigning one principal for the two K-4 elementary schools began in fall of 2018 with Sue Mosher filling both administrative roles. Mosher, who has served the district for 30 years as a teacher and principal at Dover, Lyons Center and Winkler, will retire on June 30.

Winkler Elementary School and Lyons Center Elementary School will transition to serve kindergarten through fifth grade in fall 2021. Lyons Center Elementary will undergo some construction work starting this summer to address the safety and security needs and facility maintenance work approved by the community as part of a November 2018 referendum.

Graham will begin in this new role July 1.

Regarding the shift from secondary to primary grades, Graham said, “At every level we need to continually develop and support students academically, socially and emotionally. Each level provides students with unique structures and supports to gradually develop their independence. Our goal at every level is to prepare students for future success.”


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