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Newly hired Starr Elementary Principal Dan McGuire, currently principal at Tomahawk Elementary School in Tomahawk, will replace current principal Andrew Hoeppner. Hoeppner will leave the New Richmond School District at the end of the school year to teach at an international school in Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Jordan Willi)

Excited to start a new chapter

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Over the past five years, newly hired Starr Elementary School Principal Daniel McGuire has enjoyed the challenges and experiences he had while being principal of Tomahawk Elementary School in Tomahawk. But when the opportunity to take a principal job closer to his family and friends in western Wisconsin arose, McGuire knew he couldn’t pass up the chance.

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“We spent 17 years in western Wisconsin. Both of my children were born in this part of the state and this position definitely has us closer to family and friends,” McGuire said. “Even though we really like the Tomahawk area, this part of Wisconsin is home to us. Being a part of the New Richmond community and the opportunities it provides also make this move very appealing.”

Aside from being closer to family and friends, the Starr principal job also piqued McGuire’s interest because of the positive feelings he got from the teachers and staff at Starr when he visited and toured the school.

“One of the things that attracted me to Starr was the positive learning environment that is very evident at Starr,” McGuire said. “Another thing that attracted me was the reputation of the staff at Starr Elementary. I have heard nothing but great things about the staff and have been impressed with the staff members I have had the pleasure of meeting. The overall reputation of the School District of New Richmond, and the goal to be a top district in the state, also made this position very attractive.”

According to District Administrator Jeff Moberg, choosing McGuire to replace current Starr Principal Andy Hoeppner was an easy one.

“He is a really genuine person and really cares about the kids, staff and quality education,” Moberg said. “He really connects well with people and Andy was really supportive and impressed with Dan after he got to take him on a tour of the school.”

The interview process took place in three parts, with an initial search for candidates taking place before the field was narrowed down for the first set of interviews and then narrowing it down again to the top three for a final interview. In addition to the interviews, the candidates were taken on a guided tour of the school by Hoeppner. Moberg said the staff at Starr was involved throughout the whole process of selecting the new Starr principal.

“Dan was a really standout candidate and rose to the top in both rounds of interviews,” Moberg said. “We are hoping to get Dan in for more days in the near future to meet with the staff and teachers as well as get to know the school and the district. The whole process was excellent and there was a lot of staff involved.”

McGuire got his start in teaching in 1990 as part of the Boyceville Community School District before making the move to Tomahawk to become a principal.

“I have been around public education my whole life, as a student, a teacher, a parent, a principal, and as a son of an educator/administrator,” McGuire said. “I had great experiences in public education as a student. I wanted to provide and be a part of those great experiences for other children, as well as my own.”

When it came to making the decision to become a principal, McGuire found it hard to make the move from teaching to being part of the administration, but he also knew being principal would allow him to help more students in more ways.

“The initial choice to leave the classroom and become an administrator was a tough one; I loved being a teacher,” McGuire said. “However, I felt it was important for me to play a different role in the educational system and have a larger impact on the overall education of the students in a school district. Even though it was a difficult decision, it was the right one, as I love being an elementary principal.”

At home, McGuire has a daughter, Shelbi, and son, Jacob, and has been married to his wife Tammy for 26 years. His wife currently works as a Member Service Representative Supervisor at a credit union.

“My wife and family are very excited about my new position and the opportunities New Richmond has to offer,” McGuire said. “Tomahawk has been very good to us. I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people during my seven years there, and built some great relationships with students, families, and staff. My family will always have great memories of Tomahawk and be thankful for the time we spent there. However, the whole family sees this as a great move for us at this time in our lives.”

Aside from being a school principal and helping his students learn, McGuire has a passion for fishing and anything else that gets him outside.

“Outside of education, my other passion is fishing. I will fish for anything that swims, but really enjoy fishing for walleyes,” McGuire said. “I even fish competitively and have competed in a number of walleye tournaments over the years. As I mentioned earlier, I like to fish. I also enjoy hunting and camping. One of the highlights each summer is taking a family vacation to somewhere in the United States.”

Since it was announced that McGuire would be taking over for Hoeppner, the two have been in touch on a regular basis.

“Andy has been wonderful. He was one of the first people to congratulate me when it was announced that I would be the next principal at Starr Elementary,” McGuire said. “Andy and I have been in contact regularly from that day, and he will certainly play an important role in my transition. Andy has had nothing but high praise for the school and the district. The best advice he has given me is to be myself and have fun. I certainly have some big shoes to fill and will work hard to continue building on all Andy has done for Starr Elementary.”

Although there are many things McGuire enjoys about being an elementary school principal the one thing he loves the most is getting to know the people he works with as well as the parents, students, community and all the other educational stakeholders.

“The thing I enjoy most about my job is the meaningful relationships I build with the people around me,” McGuire said. “There are a number of great things about being an elementary principal. However, the best part of being an elementary principal is definitely the kids. This is a wonderful age group to work with. They come to school eager to learn. Elementary students are constantly making new discoveries and growing as learners. No matter what kind of a day you are having, all you have to do is take a walk down an elementary hallway and your day will instantly get better.”

Despite the fact that McGuire doesn’t officially start his new job at Starr until July 1, he couldn’t be more excited and ready to start the next chapter of his life with his family.

“I am truly looking forward to the different challenges that my new role will present me with,” McGuire said. “There are always new challenges in education, but I am looking forward to the different challenges that come with a different district. As I mentioned earlier, I am thankful for the opportunities, as well as the wonderful relationships my family and I had in Tomahawk. However, I am excited to begin my work in New Richmond and for my family to start the next chapter in our lives.”

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Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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