Select Page

Contact Consultants

For assistance in selecting a consultant, contact:

  • Louise Blankenheim, Director of Search and Governance Consulting Services (, 920-286-1864) OR
  • Barry Forbes, Associate Executive Director and Staff Counsel (, 608-512-1707).

Louise Blankenheim, Ed.D.
Director of Search and Governance Consulting Services, 920.286.1864

Specializes in developing superintendent and school board relationships, leadership coaching, strategic planning, effective decision-making and conflict resolution strategies as well as curriculum development and instructional programming to maximize district accountability and student achievement. Louise earned a doctorate degree in Leadership, Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Marian College in Fond du Lac. Louise has 34 years of effective leadership in a variety of teaching and administrative experiences in urban and rural districts. She has facilitated school board and superintendent teams through challenging issues such as a school closing, declining enrollment, referendums and budget reductions. Louise believes that success begins at the top and that by maximizing resources both internally and externally through strategic planning and systems thinking, school boards can create the learning organization desired by the communities they serve.

Fran Finco PhotoFran 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.

Image Cheryl Gullicksrud photoCheryl Gullicksrud, M.S. Educational Administration
Search and Governance Consultant, 715.530.0121

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.


Nerad PhotoDan Nerad, Ed.D.
Search and Governance Consultant, 920.655.7313

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.

George Steffen photoGeorge 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 photoCheryl Stinski, B.S. Human Services – President and Founder – Alternative Resolutions, Inc.
Governance Consultant, 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

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email