2000 - Jack Magnuson, PhD

Jack Magnuson
Jack Magnuson

Jack Magnuson, PhD – 1946: Educator, dropped out of high school to serve in WWII, became one of North America’s most honored school superintendents, received awards in Wisconsin for child advocacy.



Bio by Carl Engelking, Menomonee Falls Patch.

Magnuson served as Menomonee Falls School District superintendent from 1969 to 1988. During his time as the district’s leader, he managed and implemented significant transitions that included shifting from two high schools to one as well as other structural changes in the schools.

Magnuson was a leader throughout metro-Milwaukee in implementing the Chapter 220 student transfer program. Menomonee Falls now educates 199 students through the program. Magnuson also developed the Adult High School Diploma Program in cooperation with Waukesha County Technical Institute. Magnuson lived by the philosophy that it is “what one does that counts, not when.” Each year while superintendent he hosted at least three graduation ceremonies in his office for adults from Menomonee Falls who completed one of WCTC’s adult high school diploma programs.

Magnuson left high school before graduating in Stillwater, Minnesota to serve in the U. S. Marines during World War II. When he returned to his hometown after the war, he was tutored by his high school principal and an English teacher. Magnuson continued his pursuit in education earning degrees from the University of Minnesota, Wisconsin State College – River Falls, and the University of Wisconsin. He continued his lifelong pursuit, becoming an English teacher and served as a high school principal and administrator in North Dakota and Wisconsin.