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Meet Our Principals

We asked four MMSD principals to share their experience leading a Madison school. Each emphasized a culture of support and collaboration among principal peers. Read on to learn more about what it is like to be a principal in the MMSD.

Mike Hernandez, East High   Ben Ketterer, Glendale Elementary   Lindsey Maglio, Lindbergh Elementary   Christina Natalello, Whitehorse Middle
      Mike Hernandez                     Ben Ketterer                    Lindsey Maglio             Christina Natalello
           East High                   Glendale Elementary         Lindbergh Elementary        Whitehorse Middle


Mike Hernandez, East High
Mike Hernandez
East High

Why do you lead Madison?

I want to be a role model to both our students as well as to our Latino Community.  I want to be able to lead by example and to make a difference.  Madison Metropolitan School District has given me that opportunity to do this. 

Please describe your equity vision or how excellence with equity exists in your school.

I want to part of creating an inclusive and supportive environment where all students and families feel safe and connected to staff and our community.    I feel that by ensuring that every decision about school should be grounded by this equity vision.  We are building a staff that is Culturally Competent and is willing to stand strong as we are making this system change at East High School.  

What MMSD systems of support make you successful as a leader?

I have made some amazing relationships with my fellow administrators in our district.  I know that support is only a phone call away.  I have never worked in a district in which I could call either the Superintendent or the Chief of Staff and actually speak to them.  I have never felt judged when I ask questions and that is an amazing feeling.  The systems of supports has allowed me to grow both as an educator and an adult.  



Ben Ketterer, Glendale Elementary
Ben Ketterer
Glendale Elementary

Why do you lead Madison?

I believe that all people are able to be most successful when they are passionate, challenged, and supported.  MMSD provides the context for me to pursue my passion for public education where I am able to partner with very talented colleagues in engaging with complex issues.  My desire to impact the world in a positive way began in my role as a classroom teacher in MMSD.  In those 10 years my interests evolved toward providing similar experiences and supports that others had given me on a broader context.  My decision to move into a leadership role allows me to have a direct impact on both children and adults.  The work is engaging, challenging, and fun and I could not be more fortunate to work with so many talented colleagues.

Please describe your equity vision or how excellence with equity exists in your school.

At Glendale Elementary we believe that all students deserve access to an enriching experience that teaches the whole child-academic, behavioral, and social/emotional.  Our vision, "There's a place for you here," illustrates our belief that in order for students to gain access to an authentic and meaningful experience they must feel that they belong.  We strive to form positive and engaging relationships with all students and families knowing that this is the key to opening doors of opportunity.

What MMSD systems of support make you successful as a leader?

I cannot speak highly enough of my colleagues-both at the school and district level.  I am incredibly fortunate to be part of a highly dedicated, hard-working staff who simply believe that "good" is not good enough.  I am also privileged to be part of a thriving principal PLC that allows for regular problem solving with peers from other schools.  This system of support has a direct impact on school initiatives that positively impact staff and students.  These systems of support allow me to be at my best and allow for continuous growth in practice.


Lindsey Maglio, Lindbergh Elementary
Lindsey Maglio
Lindbergh Elementary

Why do you lead Madison?

I lead in Madison because I'm from Madison and I want to work with the families in the community where I grew up.  I also am so pleased to lead in a district that aligns with my values of equity and excellence.  It is critical for me to work in a district where we are working to challenge the inequities that exist within our schools and make sure all students receive a great school experience.  We are doing that work here in Madison.

Please describe your equity vision or how excellence with equity exists in your school.

At Lindbergh, our equity vision is: At Lindbergh, equity means high expectations for students and staff. We provide supports that each student needs to be successfully engaged in rigorous, meaningful opportunities, and give students an equitable chance to succeed by growing the unique talents and gifts of each child.  This vision guides our work to increase proficiency levels for all of our students.  We design all of our professional development to improve our understanding of culturally responsive teaching practices in order to improve our school climate and instruction for all of our students, but also close the opportunity gaps that exist within our school.

What MMSD systems of support make you successful as a leader?

MMSD has a lot of supports in place to help you be successful as a leader.  As a first year leader, I had a mentor I met with weekly to help navigate the complexities within the job.  I also had professional development with my cohort of first year principals four times throughout the year.  All principals have a school improvement partner to help us accomplish our school improvement plans.  Additionally, through principal meetings, deep dives and walkthroughs, we get additional supports. I'm very pleased to have gone through my first year as a principal in MMSD, where there are many different supports in place to help you be successful as a leader.


Christina Natalello, Whitehorse Middle
Christina Natalello
Whitehorse Middle

Why do you lead Madison?

Madison's strength lies in its diverse body of students and the "can do" ethic of its staff.  

Please describe your equity vision or how excellence with equity exists in your school.

Our equity vision was created collaboratively and emphasizes the need to be authentic with our students.  Kids can tell when adults are insincere or too guarded, which is not conducive to relationship-building.  If we share ourselves honestly and seek to know students better, they will buy into us and can trust that we will support them in reaching their goals.

What MMSD systems of support make you successful as a leader?

The monthly principals' meetings are critical.  They enable me to reflect on the alignment of my school's goals and work with the MMSD's vision.  Most importantly, I am afforded the time to connect with the other principals for support, advice, and encouragement.