Kirk Haugestuen

Kirk Haugestuen, principal for the past 25 years at Barron High School, retired unexpectedly on May 25, 2017, according to information submitted to the Barron Area School District central office.

Haugestuen’s retirement, effective June 30, will be formally submitted to the School Board at its meeting on Monday, June 19, according to Craig Broeren, district administrator. Haugestuen has also served as director of human resources for the district over the past eight years.

In a letter submitted to the school board and staff, Haugestuen expressed gratitude “to the district and communities of the district but, mostly, the special people with whom I have had the opportunity to work, and (to) serve with during this time.”

A Chetek High School graduate, and a standout athlete while he attended that school, Haugestuen holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in education administration, and a specialist degree in education and human resources management.

His 30-year career included jobs at Spooner and Gilman before he started with the Barron Area School District in the early 1990s.

In an email sent Monday, June 5, Haugestuen, said his educational philosophy “includes a conviction to safety, treating people with dignity and respect, and leading with a purpose to help others learn.

“It’s bigger than cognitive functioning, rather we have a responsibility to help people understand how to become independent thinkers through conscious listening and communication skills, and good decision making to function successfully within society.

“Problems typically stem from decision making, and follow-up actions, which is influenced greatly by previous experiences,” he said. “Each student is an individual, and it is important to hear and value their story, discern what is in their best interest, and apply practices which will enhance their future behaviors, to create a better outcome for students and families.”

Haugestuen said his immediate plans are to spend more time with his family, including wife Julie, children Karl (Leanne), Hannah (Bronson), Emily (Jacob), and Austin, grandchildren Elsie Doro and Levi Thalacker, two more grandchildren due in July, and his parents.

He also plans to become more active at his church, Christ Lutheran, in Chetek.

According to the school district central office, the job vacancy has been formally posted. Applications are due no later than Friday, June 23.