Mark Hanson

OTTUMWA — Mark Hanson is coming out of retirement.

The Ottumwa Community School District announced on its website Monday that the former Ottumwa High School principal will return to the post July 1.

Hanson retired from the position in 2017 after serving seven years, coming to the district with 29 years of education experience, but stayed in the community and active with the district, including coaching eighth-grade boys basketball and varsity boys tennis.

“I’ve been an administrator in Burlington and Iowa City … but my best days have been here,” Hanson said at the time of his retirement.

However, according to the district’s announcement, he’s eager to get back to work. “I felt like there was more to do. I missed it,” he said in that announcement.

He will replace Richard Hutchinson, who is stepping down at the end of this school year due to health concerns. Hutchinson served two years at OHS.

Under Hanson’s previous tenure, the OHS graduation rate jumped from around 75% to 89.9%, according to Courier archives.

“Curriculum and instruction are better than it was when I got here,” he said in a press release at the time. During his seven years, the district initiated several programs, including Silver Cord, Best Buddies and Interact Club, as well as an increase in extracurricular activities.

In other changes announced Monday, Shelley Bramschreiber will transition from a role of assistant principal to associate principal, a new position. The district said this will increase her leadership role, working closely with Hanson to oversee the day-to-day operation of the school with strong focus on curriculum and instruction.

“The two of us will be able to provide strong leadership to the building,” Hanson said in the district announcement. “I’m looking forward to that opportunity.”

He also plans to continue to focus on culture and climate in the building. “I want to be able to engage all parents and create a welcoming environment for all students and families,” he said. “Once you have those relationships, then the academic results will follow.”

— Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.


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Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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