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Elaine Griffin Named New Head of Middle School

Congratulations to Elaine Griffin, who has been named University School of Milwaukee’s new head of Middle School, effective July 1, 2019 for the start of the 2019-20 school year. Griffin, who currently serves as the assistant head of Upper School and teaches Upper School English, will take the reins from Pamela Nosbusch, who will be retiring at the end of this school year after 41 years at USM.

“Although we cast a wide net in this search, and interviewed several strong candidates, I am excited to be able to promote an internal candidate for this position, especially one with such strong credentials,” said Laura Fuller, head of school. Griffin earned a bachelor’s degree in English with distinction from the University of Michigan’s Honors College, and her Master of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. She was hired in 1998 as a full-time English teacher in the Upper School, and held that role until 2012, when she took on the role of English Department Chair while continuing to teach. Griffin was awarded the school’s Wright Family Distinguished Faculty Award in both 2014 and 2015. She joined the Upper School administrative team as the assistant head of Upper School in July of 2015, and has continued to teach English classes. She also previously served as co-director, and then director, of the Global Studies program from 2008 to 2012.

Outside of USM, Griffin recently concluded a nine-year tenure on the Whitefish Bay Library Board, including the final three years in service as that board’s president. She is currently a member of the education committee at Bruce-Guadalupe Community School, one of USM’s partner schools in Milwaukee.

“Elaine stood apart from the other finalists based not only on her credentials and references, but also her passion for the school and this role,” said Fuller. Griffin has had much experience and interaction with our Middle School, where she serves on the curriculum coordination team and has worked for several years with the Middle School administrative team on scheduling. In addition, she works with her assistant head counterparts in the other two divisions, Brad Dunning (Middle School) and Gina Bongiorno (Lower School), meeting regularly to support culturally responsive teaching and learning.

“I am both humbled and thrilled by the opportunity to preserve and extend the legacy of Pam Nosbusch, who has led the Middle School so well, for so long,” said Griffin. “That legacy is evident throughout our Middle School. In my interactions with Middle School students, both as part of this process and through the years, I have been consistently impressed by their character, intelligence, and accomplishments. I look forward to spending time with every member of our outstanding Middle School faculty, as well as our students and their parents. I am confident that in working together, we can continue the Middle School’s distinguished tradition of preparing today’s promising young people to become tomorrow’s leaders, armed with the tools they’ll need to build a better future for all of us.”

“Elaine is very prepared for the opportunities and challenges that await her in our Middle School,” said Fuller. “Along with her colleagues, Elaine has developed a unique and clear vision of the Upper School student experience, and I know she will work tirelessly to fully understand and embrace our unique Middle School culture while ensuring that our students are on a path to success in our Upper School and beyond. I am excited to continue to work with Elaine in her new role next year, and we plan to schedule time for Middle School parents and students to meet Elaine before the end of the school year.”

The search for a new assistant head of Upper School will begin soon, and is expected to include both interested internal candidates as well as candidates identified through a national search process.
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