This is going to be quite the experience for Kori Hartman.
For 23 years, she has had one home: the Janesville School District.
There was never the unknown. Everyone knew her and what she was about. She had been a constant for parents, students and administrators since she was in her mid-20s.
"I feel like I grew up in Janesville," Hartman, 49, said.
But it was time for a change.
She now is Swanson Elementary School's new principal, replacing Anne Kreul.
"I was ready for something new and different, and Brookfield offered that," Hartman said. "It was inviting, and the district has a reputation for excellence. The Swanson staff is recognized in the district as top-notch quality."
She brings her own stellar reputation to Swanson. Hartman, who served as the principal of Van Buren School in Janesville since 2007, was named Janesville's School District Administrator of the Year last year.
Before that, Hartman served as a first-grade teacher for another Janesville school for 14 years, and prior to that, spent six years as a reading specialist.
"I would say the elementary years are magical when it comes to watching the students learn and grow," Hartman said. "There's nothing like that, and it's so rewarding. It's a pleasure to watch and have a hand in (from) when I meet them in kindergarten until they move on."
Hartman has big shoes to fill. Kreul served as Swanson's principal for the last 17 years and was at the helm when Swanson was made into an elementary school.
Hartman acknowledged Kreul's legacy is tough to follow but said everyone at Swanson has been wonderful to her.
And she said she plans on making this her home for quite some time.
"The district staff has been warm and welcoming," Hartman said. "I'm very grateful.
"Overall, I'm just thrilled for this opportunity. That's the best word I can use to describe it."
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EDUCATION: master's degrees - UW-Whitewater as a reading/writing specialist, UW-Madison in educational leadership; bachelor's degrees - UW-Whitewater in elementary education, French
HONORS: 2010-11 Janesville School District Administrator of the Year
HOBBIES: reading, walking, listening to music, watching movies, spending time with family/friends and spending time in the classroom
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