SHS Graduation 2019

Stoughton Area School District superintendent Tim Onsager speaks to the Stoughton High School Class of 2019, telling them to “live for today” as they move onto the next step.

After nearly a dozen years as Stoughton Area School District’s chief educator and 32 in public education, superintendent Tim Onsager plans to retire in February 2022.

The district announced his retirement in a letter to families on Wednesday, Nov. 17, after informing district staff of his pending departure earlier in the day. Onsager’s resignation request will go before the Stoughton Area Board of Education on Monday, Dec. 6, for approval.

“After more than thirty years in education, the time is right for me to close this chapter of my life,” Onsager said in a news release from the district. “Being an educator is truly my passion, and this was not an easy decision for me.”

In the news release, board president Frank Sullivan thanked Onsager for his impact on the district over the past 11 years.

“We are sad to see Dr. Onsager go, but fully support him in his retirement,” Sullivan said in the release.

A timeline has yet to be publicly announced for the school board to find Onsager’s successor.

Onsager started with the district in July 2010, succeeding former superintendent Mary Gavigan, who left to become the superintendent for Whitefish Bay School District. Onsager came to the district after having been the principal at DeForest Area High School for eight years, and had previously been in administrative roles at Dodgeland High School in Juneau and West High School in West Bend.

Onsager had been chosen out of six candidates, and told the Hub in July 2010 he felt that Stoughton’s reputation and location was a good fit for him and his family including two children who were school-age at the time.

“I believe I have the experience I need to lead this district and I have the support,” Onsager told the Hub in July 2010. “Stoughton has an excellent board and administrative staff, and I have peers and mentors all across the state that if I have a question or need help, I have resources to pull from.”

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