Director Profile

Ollie Berge

Ollie is a retired school district administrator serving in that capacity for 24 years in three different school districts in Wisconsin from 1951 to 1975, the last 13 years as super- intendent of the Sun Prairie Public Schools. It is interesting to note that the school district student population grew from somewhat less than 2,000 when accepting the position in 1962 to 5,000 students when he resigned to accept the position of Executive Director of the WASDA--the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators--in 1975. He held that position until he retired in 1990. However, following his retirement he did serve as a special educational consultant on a part-time basis for two years for the State Department of Public Instruction.

Some of the professional and community activities he participated in during his career included: President of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, President of the 140 member Sun Prairie Lions Club, President of the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Pres- ident of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, President of the National Association of State School Executives, a five-year term as Treasurer of the WREA, a 15-year member of the WCOA, and has been an active member serving on the Board of Trustees of the Sun Prairie Education Foundation.

Other outside activities include his love for travel having visited every state of the U.S. and most all countries in Europe, including Scandinavia, and China in the far east. He also spends two months of the winter as a "snowbird", loves to play golf, spends 3 or 4 days in the pool with water aerobics and swimming, and holds season tickets for U. W. football and basketball.

Ollie (legal name Oliver) was born in Valders, (Manitowoc Co.) in May of 1926 where he attended both grade school and high school. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in the spring of 1944 and received his basic training at Great Lakes. Following basic training he was sent to radio operators school. Following three months of radio school he was assigned to DE 771- U.S. Sutton--a destroyer escort. His career in the Navy was spent in the North Atlantic Theatre of Operations seeking German U-Boats. He was discharged in May of 1946.

Ollie enrolled in Luther College of Decorah, Iowa in August of 1946 graduating with a double major in the natural sciences and social sciences in 1950 and immediately entered the education profession. He re- ceived his Master's degree in school administration in 1957 and the Specialist's degree in school administration in 1966--both from the U.W. Madison

Ollie was married to Jeanne Larson Berge for 51 years when she passed away from cancer in 2004. Ollie is the proud father of four sons--all university graduates.

Ollie retired as a Director for the Coalition in November of 2013.