MMSD Alum, Dr. Joe Gothard, Selected as District's Next Superintendent

Dr. Gothard’s selection is the culmination of a search process, supported by Alma Advisory Group, that began in May 2023 and was hallmarked by community involvement, most recently evidenced by two days of intensive stakeholder-led interviews of the three shortlisted candidates.

It also marks a homecoming for Dr. Gothard, a native Madisonian who attended MMSD schools throughout his elementary, middle, and high school years, before going on to serve as a staff member at Lincoln Elementary School and Principal at both Akira R. Toki Middle School and Robert M. La Follette High School, as well as the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools.

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MMSD Searches for Next Superintendent - And Your Voice Matters

The MMSD Board of Education appointed former MMSD administrator, Lisa Kvistad, to serve as interim superintendent during the 2023-2024 school year while a search is underway for the district's next permanent leader. 

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Your Alma Mater Has a New Look!

On November 3, 2020, Madison voters approved a historic investment in MMSD with a pair of referenda that totaled $350 million. Voters approved both questions on the ballot: $317 million in bonds for capital projects and $33 million in operating funds that will phase in over four years. The "Vote Yes 2 Invest Campaign," was led by Schools Make Madison Advocates, Inc., an affiliate of the Madison Public Schools Foundation.

Three years later, students were welcomed into two new MMSD school buildings at the start of the 2023-24 school year, and construction continues at the four main high schools with full occupancy planned for the start of the next school year. 

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8 Ways You Can Make a Difference for Madison Students

Take action. Get involved. 

The students at your alma mater need your support! And the Madison Public Schools Foundation (MPSF) makes it easy to get involved. From volunteering your time to our popular Adopt-a-School program, our goal is to help you find new ways to support Madison’s public schools and students. Here are eight opportunities to take advantage of right away:

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Milwaukee Bucks' Wesley Matthews Teams Up with MPSF

NBA Star/Memorial Alum teams with MPSF to help students get active.

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Milwaukee Bucks star Wesley Matthews has come back to Madison to help give back.

He has teamed up with the Madison Public Schools Foundation to help launch a new initiative aimed at making it easier for students to get active. Called ‘Play Every Day,’ this initiative will help provide funds to support the Madison Metropolitan School District, allowing faculty to replace old physical education and recess equipment, as well as help students cover participation fees.

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Why Should You Attend Your Class Reunion?

It’s been the subject of countless TV sitcoms: an upcoming class reunion and all of the negatives that come with it. Characters are either scrambling to embarrass an old rival, doing their best to woo an old crush or looking for reasons to skip the reunion entirely. 

We laugh at the episode’s antics and situations—and scoff at the ending when it all turns out okay. But are class reunions really so bad? 

In reality, reunions are great opportunities to reconnect with people from your past. You’ll get to see old friends and catch up on what everyone has been doing over the past few years. All told, there are far more reasons to attend your class reunion than there are to skip it, and with the summer reunion season just about to begin, we thought we’d focus on why you should make it out to yours if you’re able!

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MMSD Seeking Input on $9.5 Million Grant Use

What would you do if you had 1 year and $9.5 million to change the game for MMSD?

That is the question that MMSD is posing to the community. 

The district has been given the opportunity of a lifetime to unite, redefine and rebuild our Madison public schools as we navigate through multiple pandemics. An $18.9 million Esser II Grant has been awarded to MMSD, $9.5 million of the grant has been earmarked for what MMSD is calling the BIG IDEA Campaign.

As such, the district is seeking input from staff, students, families, alumni and the Madison community on BIG IDEAS that will enable MMSD to come back better and thriving as a united community.

What ideas do you have that...

  • leverage student leadership
  • support collaboration with and between students, families and different community organizations
  • provide for experiences that bring students outside of the traditional 4 classroom walls
  • create experiences that bring our community into our schools and classrooms

This is your opportunity to have your BIG, bold, fresh IDEA heard! Submissions are due April 24th!

Learn more about the timeline and submission requirements at


Teacher Appreciation Week is Coming Soon: Here's How You Can Show Your Gratitude

As alumni, the farther removed we get from our high school days the more we can look back and fully realize the kind of impact our teachers had on us. We’re really grateful to have some fantastic, caring teachers at Madison's Public Schools.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has been unusually challenging for everyone: kids, parents, school staff and teachers alike. With Teacher Appreciation Week coming up the week of May 3-7, we thought it would be a good idea to share some ways you might show your gratitude during that week. This is a great chance for you to reconnect with some of your favorite teachers from your high school days and show them how much their work is appreciated, especially during such a difficult and emotionally draining school year.

Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Send an email: This is probably the easiest, fastest way for you to show your appreciation. Teacher emails are listed publicly on the district’s website, so it’s easy for you to find the teacher you want to connect with and send them a quick email sharing your gratitude.
  • Write a thank-you note: You can thank a teacher either for the impact they had on your life, or for the work they’re doing with your children or with the current generation of students in general. You can mail the note to the school; this is a great, personal way to show your appreciation and is certain to make their day.
  • Find ways to give back: Beyond just sharing your gratitude in words, you can find ways to show your appreciation for teachers and your district in your actions. Find ways to give back, whether it’s donating to educational initiatives or teacher fundraisers, volunteering at school events (when they’re being held in person again) or advocating for teachers in your everyday life.
  • Organize a class gift: If you’d like to show your appreciation on a larger scale, perhaps you can work with other members of your graduating class to organize a class gift either for a particular teacher or to all the teachers at your alma mater in general to show your appreciation. Have other alumni contribute to a fund you can then use to purchase trinkets of your appreciation for teachers at school.

We hope you find some small way to show the appreciation for the teachers in your life all year round, but especially in a few weeks during Teacher Appreciation Week!

Captial High Alum Receives Youth Community Volunteer Award

Please join us in congratulating Capital High class of 2020 alumnus Jaleah Hunt on her United Way of Dane County's 2020 Youth Community Volunteer Award! Jaleah is receiving the Goodman Gemstone Youth Award for her work with F.O.S.T.E.R. of Dane County, a group aiming to help marginalized families in the area receive the assistance they need. As an award winner, Jaleah will be given a scholarship to continue to pursue her education.

Through activities like packing and delivering Thanksgiving meals and helping children get what they need to go back to school, Jaleah said she has learned a lot through her volunteer work with F.O.S.T.E.R.

"It's important for me to give back because I know that if I was in need or something, I would want somebody to do the same for me. It's just the right thing to do. You know, it just it makes my heart warm."

Click on the image below to check out her story thanks to WKOW 27:

Alum/Alumni/Alumnus: What’s the Difference?

Any time you receive messages from your alma mater or an alumni network, you might happen across different forms of the word “alumnus.” For example: “alumni,” “alum,” “alumnae,” or “alumna.” 

Each of these forms of the word is used to describe a graduate or group of graduates. But what’s the difference between them, and when is the proper time to use each one? And why might you see different forms of the word in a single message from your alma mater?

Here’s a quick and helpful overview for you to reference.


The word “alumni” is probably the most frequently used word to describe graduates. It is a plural noun, referring to a collection of graduates. You might say, for example, “John and Jane are alumni of George Washington High School.”


The word “alumnus” refers to a single male graduate of an institution. A group of male graduates would be referred to as “alumni.” You might say, “Joe is an alumnus of the University of Michigan.”


Just as “alumnus” is used to refer to an individual male graduate, the word “alumna” is used to refer to an individual female graduate. You might say, “Katie is an alumna of Springfield High School.”


The word “alumnae” is used to refer to a group of female graduates. Compare this to “alumni,” which is used for groups of male graduates, or groups comprising both male and female graduates. You might say, “Ashley, Susan, and Lindsay are alumnae of the University of Tennessee.”


The word “alum” is meant to be a more informal reference to an individual male or female graduate. This is a helpful word to use in informal communications when you might frequently forget the above rules! In addition, you can also use the plural “alums” to informally refer to a group of any male, female or mixed graduates. Again, this word is only meant for casual conversation and communications. Grammar and etiquette experts suggest using the above proper Latin words in professional or formal settings, such as in invitations, at graduation ceremonies, on resumes and at awards banquets.

Regardless of what you call the group, the most important thing is that we are all proud alumni of Madison public schools! But we hope you find this a helpful language guide any time you see these words moving forward.