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Contact Consultants

For assistance in selecting a consultant, contact Ben Niehaus:

Ben Niehaus
Director of Member Services, 608-512-1706

Ben is a former school district administrator who served several Wisconsin school districts. He began his professional career as a business education teacher. Beyond his role as a school administrator, he has served and spoken on behalf of various associations and committees in advocacy for students and school communities.

WASB Consultant Team


Fran Finco, Ed.D.
Search and Governance Consultant, 608-780-6101

Fran specializes in continuous school improvement and building board/administrator relationships. He also has extensive experience with professional learning communities. Fran has 43 years working in the educational field. During his first 16 years, he worked in Minnesota as a teacher, activities director and administrator. For the next 27 years, he worked for the School District of Onalaska as their middle school principal, director of instructional services and superintendent. He also served as an adjunct instructor at UW–La Crosse and Viterbo University.

Fran received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Northern Michigan University, his master’s degree in counseling from the University of North Dakota, his specialist degree in educational administration from Moorhead State University, and his doctorate in educational leadership from National Louis University.

Cheryl Gullicksrud, M.S. Educational Administration
Search and Governance Consultant, 715-530-0121

Cheryl specializes in superintendent searches, board and administrator relationships, and school district fiscal operations. Over the past 36 years, Cheryl has served Wisconsin schools in a variety of positions including business education teacher, CTE coordinator, district assessment coordinator, curriculum coordinator, principal, superintendent, and CESA administrator.

Cheryl received her undergraduate degree from UW-Eau Claire and a masters degree from Winona State University.

Patrick Mans, M. Ed.
Search and Governance Consultant, 715-293-6827

Pat specializes in developing board/superintendent relationships and rural school district operations/governance issues. Patrick was most recently superintendent of the Crivitz School District where he served for 12 years. Before that, he served in the roles of elementary and middle school principal at Crivitz.

He received his bachelor’s degree in education from the UW-Stevens Point, a master’s degree in education administration and curriculum and instruction from Viterbo University, and his superintendent certification from Cardinal Stritch University.

Dan Nerad, Ed.D.
Search and Governance Consultant, 920-655-7313

Dan specializes in addressing governance issues, issues related to excellence and equity, strategic planning and evaluation of the superintendent and board. Dan served as superintendent in Green Bay and Madison, Wisconsin, and in Birmingham, Michigan. His service as superintendent spanned 17 years and he has been a public school educator for 43 years, including serving as an assistant for curriculum and instruction and an executive director of curriculum. He believes that all children can become proficient learners and caring and contributing members of society. Dan views collaboration with parents/guardians and the community as a critical role for schools and has emphasized helping staff develop the skills necessary to be successful in their work with children.

Dan was Wisconsin’s 2006 Superintendent of the Year. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees from UW-Madison, an Educational Specialist Certificate from UW-Milwaukee, and a doctoral degree from Cardinal Stritch University.

Roger Price, M.S. Educational Administration, M.S. Business Management
Finance and Operational Consultant, 608-212-0990

Roger specializes in operational effectiveness and all facets of budgetary planning and Wisconsin school finance. He spent his career of 35 years involved in all aspects of educational operations and business management in K-12 and higher education.

He earned his master’s degree in educational administration from UW-Madison and his master’s in school business management from UW-Whitewater. He received the Wallace E. Zastrow Award (lifetime achievement) from the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials. Roger served as an adjunct professor at Edgewood and UW-Whitewater and has been engaged in consulting services the past 10 years.

George Steffen, Ed.D.
Search and Governance Consultant, 815-353-9441

Specializes in school board and administrator leadership and relationships, long-range planning, and school district collaboration, reorganization and consolidation. George has dedicated 44 years to working with Illinois and Wisconsin public school districts. After receiving a degree from National College of Education, he received his master and doctorate degrees from Loyola University in educational administration. George taught fourth, sixth, and eighth grade prior to pursuing his career as a superintendent. He served as assistant superintendent and then as superintendent for 29 consecutive years at Amboy (IL), Prairie Grove (IL), Trevor and Trevor-Wilmot (WI).

He has served as an adjunct professor at Aurora Univ. and Northeastern Illinois Univ. and a guest lecturer at Loyola Univ. in the field of educational administration. In addition, George is trained in the DPI model of teacher and principal observation/evaluation.

Cheryl Stinski, B.S. Human Services
Governance Consultant
President and Founder, Alternative Resolutions, Inc., 920-850-4527

Cheryl Stinski is a highly experienced facilitator, trainer, mediator, and coach who brings more than 20 years of know-how to working with school boards.

In addition to building strong leaders through training and coaching, she excels in facilitating productive conversations and collaborative problem-solving that leads to effective, durable solutions. Her work in the school arena includes training school board members, administrators, teachers and students; facilitating referendum planning, community/school problem solving, parent/school board meetings, and IEP meetings; and mediating staff issues and special education cases.

Patti Vickman, M. Ed.
Search and Governance Consultant, 920-495-0400

Patti specializes in human resources and community relations. She has experience with referendums, surveys, summits and other methods of collecting community feedback. Patti was most recently superintendent of the Southern Door County School District, a position she held since 2012. Before that, she was executive director of administration and executive director of human resources at the Oshkosh Area School District.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Saint Norbert College and a master’s in education from the University of Louisville, Kentucky. Her administrator certification is from UW-Madison and her superintendent licensure from Marian University. 

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