Mequon-Thiensville School District

Members of the Board of Education

Jason P. Levash, President

 Elected to the Board in 2022, Jason Levash is serving his first three year term. Jason and his wife Amy are the parents of three young children and moved to Mequon in 2019, returning to the community Amy and her parents have called home for decades. 

Jason possesses a unique blend of educational and business experience through his current role as the Chief Operating Officer for Cooperative Education Service Agency (CESA) 6 and his prior public school district service. Jason’s last educational administration position was with the West Bend School District as the Director of Secondary Education. He started his educational career as a technology and engineering teacher in the Cedarburg School District. 

Jason earned a master’s degree in education policy and leadership at Marquette University and holds a bachelor of science in technology education from the University of  Wisconsin-Stout. He has also completed multiple post graduate certification programs tied to his passions of leadership, strategy, continuous improvement, and college and career readiness. 

Jason values community service and has a long history of volunteerism. He currently serves on the University of Wisconsin-Stout Foundation Board, is an officer of the Smart Thinking Foundation, and coaches youth sports. Jason has been inspired by role models in his life and wants to have that same positive impact on others by working together so we can support the children of the community with their goals and dreams. 

Shelley D. Burns, Vice President

Shelley Burns

Elected to the Board in 2018, Shelley and her husband Doug are longtime Mequon residents and their two grown daughters are graduates of the Mequon-Thiensville School District.

Shelley has a long history of involvement in the district through volunteering in classrooms, field trips, athletics, and special activities. Shelley served as Treasurer of Safe Play 4 All, raising $60,000 to replace playground equipment at the elementary schools. Notably, Shelley found her niche in PTO newsletters, migrating the Wilson and Steffen newsletters from print to online and developing the Short Kilts, the weekly, online, high school newsletter.

Shelley has earned BS degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Heidelberg College; an MS in Clinical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University; and an MBA in Operations from the University of New Hampshire.

Prior to her retirement in 2021, Shelley worked for iVantage Health Analytics, helping hospitals and health systems improve performance with a combination of consulting, software products and data analytics. Her job didn’t exist when she graduated from college: similarly, one of the challenges Shelley is most excited to address as board member is preparing children for futures we can barely imagine.

Dr. Mary Gavigan, Treasurer

Elected to the Board in 2024, Mary Gavigan is serving her first three year term.  Mary has been a homeowner in Mequon since 2010 and is passionate about supporting students and schools to achieve at yet higher levels.   


With 40+ years of educational leadership and teaching experience, Mary retired in July 2022 after serving as CESA#1's Executive Director leading CESA#1 to become a Top Workplace in Southeastern Wisconsin and the USA. Professional experience includes being a Superintendent of Schools in two diverse communities: Whitefish Bay and Stoughton Area School District.  Additional experience includes being an Adjunct Professor at UW-Madison and Cardinal Stritch University teaching educational administration and curriculum and instruction courses.  Mary began her career as a teacher, principal, staff developer, and assistant superintendent.

Mary holds a Ph.D. and Masters in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, with a Curriculum and Instruction minor from UW-Madison. Her B.S. degree is from UW-Eau Claire in K-8 Elementary Education with a Speech minor.  

Mary is committed to community service, contribution and making a difference in the lives of others. She brings a unique  perspective to the role of MTSD Board member given her years of executive leadership experience including entrepreneurship, business acumen and instructional excellence.  

Andrew Hopkins, Clerk

Elected to the Board in 2021, Andrew Hopkins and his wife Lynda have resided in Mequon for more than 25 years and have four children.  His two older children attended the Mequon-Thiensville School District, graduating from Homestead in 2014 and 2016 respectively. He currently has a Homestead High School senior and an 8th grader.  

Andrew is a business owner working in computer consulting and technical staffing industry.  His company assists organizations in transforming their businesses, overcoming challenges and solving problems related to technology and innovation. Their specialization is in the data analytics, data science and predictive modeling.  

He has been active within the school district for the last 20 years by volunteering with the school athletic programs and the orchestra program.  He and his family are also longtime supporters of the Mequon-Thiensville Education Foundation.

Andrew received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics  from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kate Barikmo

 

Elected to the Board in 2023, Kate is an advocate for public education. She lives in Thiensville and grew up in Cedarburg, spending large portions of her childhood in Mequon with her grandparents. 

Kate is a 7th grade English Language Arts, and Social Studies teacher and works with multilingual students. She is passionate about education and community service. Kate earned her Bachelor's degree in History, Sociology, and educational services at UW-Madison in 2018. She went back and earned her Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UW-Madison in 2020.

Paul H. Buzzell

Paul Buzzell was most recently elected to the Mequon-Thiensville School District Board of Education in 2022 after previously serving a term on Board from 2014-2017. Paul is a lifelong resident of Mequon and proud alumnus of Homestead High School. His three daughters are all graduates of Homestead as well. Paul works in finance and was heavily involved in the Homestead athletics and the Booster Club.

 

 

Wendy L. Francour

Elected to the Board in 2014, Wendy has over 35 years of experience in sales, marketing and fund development. She most recently represented Kellogg’s in a sales capacity.

Wendy served the school district for more than 20 years in volunteer roles ranging from high stakes committees, advisory boards, task forces, PTO leadership and fundraising.

Wendy received a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and her family have lived in Mequon since 1989. Her daughter attended the district from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating in 2007.