Mequon-Thiensville School District

Members of the Board of Education

Shelley D. Burns, 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.

Jason P. Levash, Vice 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 two young boys 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. 

Paul H. Buzzell, Treasurer

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.



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 a 7th 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


Newly 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.

Wendy L. Francour

Wendy 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.

Paula G. Taebel

Paula Taebel

Elected to the board in June 2017, Paula is serving her second term. She brings in-depth knowledge and extensive involvement to the district, having served 12+ years in a variety of leadership positions including co-vice president and co-president positions on both Lake Shore and Homestead's PTO/PTSO, and spearheading a successful pro-referendum committee in 2015.

Paula has a spirit of helping others. In addition to her volunteerism for the school district, she has been actively involved in her church, the Mequon Thiensville Community Foundation, Ozaukee Family Services, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, and volunteering as a tutor for underserved youth, helping to instill a passion for learning and literacy to those most in need.

Paula completed her education at the University of Cincinnati, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor of science in health care administration and planning, and completed graduate studies at the School of Business Administration. She then built her career working in strategic planning, marketing and regulatory compliance in the healthcare industry before retiring to raise her family.

Paula and her husband Scott moved to Mequon in 2001, attracted by the top-ranked school district and educational opportunities it provided.  Their two adult sons are both graduates of Homestead High School.