An ad-hoc hiring committee, chaired by Superintendent Tom Westerhaus, has picked Kit Luedtke to be River Falls High School principal starting July 1. Current Principal Elaine Baumann is retiring.

Luedtke is the current high school assistant principal of academics. His recommendation must be voted on April 8 by the school board's Personnel Committee and by the full school board April 15.

The high school principal's opening drew 36 applicants. The hiring committee deliberated for 2 ½ months.

Westerhaus said Luedtke's selection was unanimous.

"Kit is both a compassionate and a passionate administrator," Westerhaus said. "He's committed, and has said that he wants to make River Falls High School the best it can be -- and, be the best in Wisconsin."

Luedtke, who will turn 37 in May, said:

"My family and I are extremely grateful to be named the incoming principal of River Falls High School.

"I am excited to serve in a new capacity with a dedicated staff, respectful students, supportive parents, and passionate community members.

"River Falls is a great place to live and work, and our family is looking forward to being actively involved in a community that values education for all students."

Kit Luedtke is married to Jenny Luedtke, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Meyer Middle School.

Kit grew up in a small suburban community 30 minutes north of Milwaukee called Slinger. The school district there has a similar enrollment to River Falls and is a bedroom community to the Milwaukee metro area.

More on this story can be found in the March 21 print edition of the River Falls Journal.