SOE alum selected as next De Pere school superintendent

Christopher Thompson. Images: portrait from ; De Pere High School sign from . District logo from .

The Unified School District of De Pere Board of Education has selected Dr. Christopher Thompson (UWM MS, Administrative Leadership—2002) as the finalist for the position of district superintendent. He will officially step into the role on July 1, 2022. Current Superintendent Ben Villarruel announced in December 2020 he would retire in July 2022 from the district after 21 years of service.

Learn about the School of Education’s Administrative Leadership MS program.

Dr. Thompson has been superintendent of the Rosholt, Wis., School District since March 2019. He previously was Rosholt’s assistant superintendent and elementary principal. Before moving to Rosholt, Thompson spent five years as the executive director of curriculum and instruction in the Racine Unified School District, where he also held the positions of Elementary Principal and Assistant Principal.

Thompson earned his doctorate in education at Edgewood College, Madison. Additionally, he has a master’s degree in education focused on administrative leadership and supervision from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wis.

David A. Youngquist, Board of Education president, expresses appreciation for the many people who participated in the nine-month superintendent search process.

“I and my fellow board members are grateful for the many hours devoted by our staff, families, students and community members who participated in surveys and candidate forums, as well as providing direct communication to us throughout the superintendent search process.”

Youngquist also commends Superintendent Villarruel for his leadership during his 21-year tenure.

“Under Ben’s direction, De Pere has performed exceptionally well in terms of student achievement, professional staff development, financial stability, growth management and more. We sincerely appreciate his stewardship of our school community over the past two decades.”

Deans, department chairs, or graduate program representatives can nominate someone for a Student Stories feature by sending either a link to a recent web page featuring the student’s accomplishment(s) or information about the student’s recent accomplishment(s) to