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The Role of the Superintendent

The superintendent is hired by and serves as chief executive officer to the Board of Education. It is his responsibility to provide creative, dynamic and effective leadership and secure maximum educational opportunities for children by constantly striving to improve the quality of instruction.

The superintendent endeavors to obtain and develop the most competent staff to carry out the schools’ purposes. He provides leadership in securing and managing funds and facilities needed for an effective instructional program. He encourages and maintains communication between the school district and the community.

Dr. Mike Hanson


Dr. Charles M. (Mike) Hanson has served over 24 years in public education and was appointed as superintendent of Joliet Township High School District 204 effective July 1, 2019.

Dr. Hanson comes to JTHS from Hill City School District in South Dakota where he served as superintendent for over seven years.  Prior to serving as superintendent, Dr. Hanson worked his way through the ranks in the roles of teacher, curriculum director, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent.   His vast educational experience includes leadership roles in strategic planning, instructional design, grant management, fiscal leadership, and implementation of safety and security protocols using the ALICE framework.   

Born in Texas, Dr. Hanson was raised in a military family and lived throughout the United States, attending elementary schools in Virginia, South Dakota, Alaska and secondary schools in Rhode Island and West Germany. Dr. Hanson continued his education at the University of South Dakota where he obtained his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Doctorate in Educational Administration.  While attending the University of South Dakota, Dr. Hanson earned U.S. Army Commission through the ROTC program.

Dr. Hanson’s leadership practices are centered around equity, access, and empowerment.  He is committed to building trust and positive relationships through Liberator Leadership practices that encourage high challenge while providing the support necessary to create a culture of empowerment and opportunity for all stakeholders.  Dr. Hanson is student and family centered and believes in engaging all stakeholders through a Listen – Learn – Lead continuum that creates meaningful educational experiences for students, families, faculty, and the community.  With a strong commitment to innovation, culturally responsive instructional approaches, the personalized learning environment and instructional delivery through a modern curriculum, Dr. Hanson is committed to leveraging the district’s strategic plan to ensure JTHS remains the school of choice for our community.

Dr. Hanson is married to his wife, Sarah, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. They have three children—a daughter, Lexy, married to Aaron Trotter who is  stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota; son, Drew, a recent high school graduate currently completing U.S. Army basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood with future service in the South Dakota Army National Guard; and youngest daughter, Kendyl, an 8th grade student at Troy Consolidated School District 30-C.