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Retiring High School Principal Troy Haws Thankful for Community Support

Retiring High School Principal Troy Haws, thankful for community support, impacted district for 30 years as teacher and administrator

Troy Haws, Luxemburg-Casco High School principal since January 2017, last week completed his final academic year with the district prior to his retirement at the end of June. It will conclude a 37-year career in education, including the past 30 at L-C, having initially joined the district as a teacher in 1994.

“This high school – and the hundreds of educators and thousands of students I have crossed paths with – has had a major impact on my life,” says Haws. “I appreciate all of the support I’ve received from colleagues, parents, students and past administrations. To work for one school district for 30 years – that’s a long time.”

The 60-year-old Haws shares that he has no concrete plans for his retirement beyond visiting his three adult children and two

grandchildren, all of whom live out of town, more often with his wife, Dawn. Two of his children live in the Phoenix area, the other in Madison.

“I have enjoyed working with Troy and will miss his dry sense of humor,” says Jo-Ellen Fairbanks, Ph.D., Luxemburg-Casco superintendent. “I have always appreciated his calm demeanor and good judgment when working through challenging situations.”

Over his seven-and-a-half years as LCHS principal, Haws takes great pride in the changes he supported, providing increased opportunities for students to follow their interests and engage in a career pathway while still in high school. These include Youth Apprenticeship – Luxemburg-Casco High School has the highest YA participation rate in Wisconsin with 58 percent of eligible students engaged in the program – along with the Bellin College Healthcare Academy, the automotive/diesel technician pathways and Rising Phoenix, a dual-enrollment program with the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where students can earn college credits while still in high school.

“I was part of helping to make that happen by providing the new structure,” he says. “When I taught here, we had the traditional seven-block schedule. Students now have a better opportunity to shine and show their individual strengths, and can find their pathway during their high-school years.”

Haws will miss the daily interactions with students and staff the most.

“We have an awesome student body,” he says. “Kids are always going to be kids – that’s never changed. They’re finding their way as young adults, soon to be adults. Even the kids that may struggle, those sometimes are the ones that you build the strongest relationships with.

“One of the things I’ve learned as principal is that you’re never going to have all the answers. When you have good people, which L-C does in its staff, you give them the opportunity and freedom to use their skills. People tend to exceed your expectations, at least here they do.”

The existing relationships Haws had with staff from his own time as a teacher made for a smooth evolution to principal in 2017.

“I already had a pretty good understanding of the culture of the building,” says Haws. “It was an easy transition, not just for me but for the staff who had worked with me in the past.”

Haws began teaching at Luxemburg-Casco High School in the fall of 1994, serving as an instructor for courses in physical science, biology and algebra for 21 years. He spent one academic year as the dean of students for L-C Middle School. When the high school principal resigned shortly before the 2016-17 school year, Haws was appointed on an interim basis as dean of students at the high-school level, which was a precursor to his promotion to full-time principal months later.

A 1987 graduate of UW-Green Bay with a degree in science and environmental change, Haws began his professional career as a middle-school science and math teacher for three years at the now-defunct St. Michael’s School in Whitelaw, Wis. He then spent four years (1990-94) as a middle-school teacher at Two Rivers (Wis.) Central Catholic School, adding the duties of high school athletic director the final two years.

He left his native Two Rivers in 1994 to join the Luxemburg-Casco School District, and wrapped up his 30th academic year with the district last week.

Haws received a master’s degree in the administrative leadership program of UW-Milwaukee in 2003, along with certification as a school principal for Grades K-12, preparing him for his leadership roles over the past decade.

He and his wife, Dawn, will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary this July. Along with spending more time with her, he looks forward to additional time partaking in his hobbies of woodworking and outdoor activities, particularly hunting.

As he departs, Haws is most appreciative of the backing he received over the course of his three decades as part of the district, both from inside and outside of the school.

“We’ve had some challenging times – among them the pandemic and the facilities referendum, which required a lot of planning but resulted in exciting changes – and you’re not going to navigate those events without the support of the community,” he says. “For that, I am extremely thankful.”

Similarly, the Luxemburg-Casco School District is extremely thankful for the impact Troy Haws has made on its students and the community at large.