La Crosse Promise announces that Executive Director Brian Liesinger will formally step down from his position at the end of October. Liesinger’s departure comes after more than three and a half years of distinguished service during which he advanced La Crosse Promise’s goals and vision. The departure is motivated by a family opportunity for career advancement in Denver, CO.
Liesinger arrived in March 2017, after the untimely death of the previous La Crosse Promise executive director, Jerilyn Dinsmoor. During his tenure, Liesinger built upon Dinsmoor’s early leadership, ensuring steady progress in both a college and career advising program in local schools and a pioneering neighborhood revitalization program in La Crosse’s most challenged neighborhoods.
“Under Brian’s leadership we have seen positive growth in both Future Centers in our high schools and the neighborhood revitalization program,” said Amy Noel, President of the La Crosse Promise Board of Directors. “His commitment to education and the La Crosse Promise will have a lasting impact on our community.”
Liesinger’s most visible legacy has been the growth of a nationally-unique neighborhood program. Targeting historic, but challenged La Crosse south side neighborhoods, the program awards scholarship dollars to those who buy, build, or renovate homes in the Powell-Poage-Hamilton and Washburn neighborhoods. At the time of his arrival, there were two Promise homes enlisted since the program’s launch in 2015. Now, the program boasts 25 Promise homes.
At the same time, the Future Center advising centers for high schoolers have grown to provide services to approximately 90 percent of all School District of La Crosse high schoolers by the time they graduate.
With Liesinger leaving his post at the end of October, the La Crosse Promise Board of Directors has launched a search for a new executive director, with the job posting viewable at lacrossepromise.org/news.
In the meantime, program activity will continue for La Crosse Promise, with Future Centers ramping up activity in service of School District of La Crosse students returning to schools. In line with the District’s plans for virtual learning, Future Centers will deliver advising services and enhanced programs virtually. Similarly, the organization also continues to field inquiries about the neighborhood program through prime home-shopping months.