Three Lakes School District has announced that Justin Szews has accepted the position of Three Lakes 7-12 principal beginning with the 2021-’22 school year. 

Szews is currently the high school principal at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua. He will take over responsibilities in July following the retirement of Gene Welhoefer, who is the current Three Lakes 7-12 principal.

“Justin brings a rare combination of outstanding qualifications and attributes to our district,” said Three Lakes District Administrator Teri Maney. “Not only has he been a successful educator and administrator, but he is also a member of our community. He has a clear understanding of the challenges schools face in northern rural Wisconsin.”

Szews, who lives in Sugar Camp with his wife, Tara, and their four children, has a long resume of experience in North Woods public education. Before his position as high school principal, Szews served as Lakeland’s high-school assistant principal and before that, Lakeland’s activities director and dean of students. He also worked in the Rhinelander School District as an activities director. 

Szews received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from UW-Stevens Point, where he also spent time as an assistant football coach. He graduated high school from Wittenberg-Birnamwood.

The Association of Wisconsin School Administrators named Szews Assistant Principal of the Year in 2018, and he was one of three finalists for the 2018 National Assistant Principal of the Year.

Maney stated that Szews has extensive training in educator professional development and instructional programming, which she believes will be especially important in a small school district like Three Lakes.

“Justin is active in our community and will be a familiar face to many who may not know him personally but will recognize him when they see him. We feel fortunate to have found the perfect person to fill the role of Three Lakes 7-12 principal,” said Maney.

“I am very excited for the new opportunity in the Three Lakes School District,” Szews said. “I look forward to working with the staff, students and community to help move the district forward into the future — with the goal of providing our students with the best educational programming possible. And, I am thrilled to work in the community in which we live.”