Dr. Lori M. Mueller, an experienced educational leader and superintendent who has been nationally recognized for her work in school communication, has joined the Donovan Group as the firm’s lead associate in Florida.

For the past six years, Dr. Mueller has served as district administrator of the School District of Baraboo in central Wisconsin. In that time, she led significant continuous school improvement through district strategic planning processes. She also led efforts to engage community members in successfully passing the two largest capital referendums in her district’s history, totaling $63.65 million.

In 2018, Dr. Mueller was widely praised for her handling of a situation in her school district that had gained an enormous amount of national news media and social media attention. In the months after that incident, she was invited to speak about school crisis communication at several conferences and was featured in a February 2020 article in School Administrator magazine.

Dr. Mueller has announced that she is stepping down from her role at the School District of Baraboo and is moving with her husband to Florida to be closer to family.

“Those closest to me know that my extended family is in Florida and that I call that area of the country my home,” Dr. Mueller said. “With our son graduating in May from Baraboo High School, we have decided it is time to be closer to loved ones and make this move for our family.”

Under her leadership in Baraboo, district educators accomplished top accolades due to collective efficacy, instructional coaching and professional development efforts. Students benefited by gaining access to rich opportunities that prepared them for college and the workforce, such as increased advanced placement coursework, dual-enrollment classes and business-education partnerships.

In addition to her experience as a superintendent, Dr. Mueller has served as a teacher and a director of curriculum and instruction. She has presented at regional, state and national conferences on topics related to grading for communicating student learning, developing assessment literacy, gifted and talented services, implementing a Response to Intervention framework, continuous school improvement, strategic planning, crisis response and engaging the community in advance of a facilities referendum.

Dr. Mueller holds an Ed.D. from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. She also received a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree in French and Health Education from UW-Whitewater.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Dr. Mueller to our team as we ramp up our school communication services in Florida,” said Joe Donovan, president of the Donovan Group. “Over the course of her career, Dr. Mueller has distinguished herself as an incredible educator, administrator and leader, not to mention a great communicator. Her experience and skill in the areas of educational administration, communication and community engagement will prove to be extremely valuable to school and district leaders throughout Florida.”

Founded in 2004, the Donovan Group is a national leader in education-focused communications and community engagement. Over the years, its work has involved some of the most critical and urgent issues facing schools, districts and educational organizations. The firm’s clients range from large urban schools and districts to small, one-school rural districts.

In addition to Florida, the firm has offices in Wisconsin, California, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. The Donovan Group’s services include communication planning, ongoing communication support, surveys, video production, content creation, graphic design, communication audits and bond and referendum assistance.