4 Things to Know About Superintendent Candidate Mark Holzman


Wauwatosa Superintendent finalist Mark Holzman

Beatrice Lazarski

Wednesday, April 21 brought the second of the three finalists for the Wauwatosa School District Superintendent position to Wauwatosa. Mark Holzman toured Wauwatosa schools and participated in multiple forums. He visited Wauwatosa West to meet with and speak to students before heading to East for a student forum with over a dozen students from East, West and Whitman. After this forum, students were asked to fill out a survey expressing their opinions to be shared with the school board. Holzman also participated in a community forum as well as a final interview conducted in closed session with the school board in the evening.


Originally from Wisconsin, Madison area native Mark Holzman is currently the superintendent of Manitowoc School District where he has served for the past five years. Throughout his lengthy career, he has worked in Elkhart Lake, Howards Grove, Fond du Lac, as well as Sheboygan school districts. His roles in these districts have been varied, including everything from a social studies teacher to the director of human resources. He has been the principal at both elementary and high school levels, and retains a deep understanding of the inner workings of schools. 


As superintendent, Holzman holds himself to a high standard. He mentioned his first priority is to “Be the chief cheerleader of the district…I want to tell people about all of the great things going on in the district, helping them understand the vision, mission, and purpose of the district.” After that, he aims to connect with students, and advocate on their behalf. As he said, “it is my priority is to be an advocate, so that all kids can learn at high levels, with no exceptions. That’s my mission, every single day is to provide opportunities for students to be the best humans they can possibly be.” He also stresses the importance of extracurricular activities. He mentioned that being involved in extracurriculars makes students more likely to graduate from high school and gives them a “passion for school.” During his time in Manitowoc he helped implement added extracurricular programs for their elementary and middle school students to engage students early on.

First Steps as Superintendent

Holzman first aims to build relationships in the Wauwatosa Community, saying, “my first role in the district is going to be to listen and learn… I need to understand what the culture is here, I need to learn from the people here, and understand how we do things before I make significant commitments to what we will change.” He also stressed the importance of being visible to students saying, “I really value listening to students and being engaged with kids.” He mentioned wanting to attend sporting events, practices, and spend time in classrooms. As he said, “I want to hear about how things are going because students can help us improve what we are doing.” He aims to be a friendly face for students, while making decisions to help their education.

A Unique Perspective

When asked what perspective he can bring to Wauwatosa that other candidates can not, Holzman mentioned his many years of experience in a wide range of education positions. As he said, “I feel like I have a great background that has stops at all kinds of different administrative levels.” He also emphasized his character, mentioning his “open, honest and energetic personality.” He continued to emphasize the importances of relationships when being a leader. His leadership style is “based on working to support people, and I’ve built lasting relationships along the way.”

Holzman wanted to come to Wauwatosa to be apart of a district that values equity. He plans to further these goals by “providing opportunities for all students at the time that they need them, regardless of their background.” He aims to bring in more teachers of color to make the school staff reflect the student body.


Watch a recording of the community forum with Superintendent finalist Mark Holzman below.