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Longtime School Superintendent William Knapp Dies at 87

William Knapp, the longtime superintendent of Greendale Schools from 1965 until 1992 passed away on October 3 at the age of 87. Knapp spearheaded a number initiatives including construction of new schools and is credited with helping establish Greendale as a high-performing school district in the region.

“Dr. Knapp is part of a tradition of long-tenured highly regarded Greendale school district superintendents who made a major impact on education for Greendale, Milwaukee metro area and the State of Wisconsin,” said former Superintendent Bill Hughes. “He led the effort to bring desegregation and students of color into our Village’s schools.”

Knapp was born in Rockford, Illinois and began his career as a teacher there as a teacher and became the Greendale superintendent in 1965.

“Dr. Knapp was the superintendent that hired me in 1975. He was always personable, pleasant and professional. He remembered everyone’s name and typically had a compliment for everyone he talked to,” wrote retired middle school teacher Bob Kosky at “At every annual start of the school year, he would remind us how valuable each student was, and to do our best for every student. He could bring a tear to everyone’s eye with his heartfelt annual theme year after year. Dr. Knapp was a very special man whose legacy will live on for generations to come.”

According to a post on, Knapp was an active member of the Saint Alphonsus parish. He also enjoyed working with education graduate students at UW-M and Marquette. Bill loved camping, golfing, sailing, skiing, and fishing in Canada. He was an avid sports fan, attending many GHS games and always rooting for the Badgers, Brewers, and Packers.

Memorials may be made to the Greendale Education Foundation for the creation of a scholarship in his name. 6815 Southway, Greendale, WI 53129 or to the Saint Alphonsus capital campaign.

About The Author

Bill Attewell

Bill Attewell is the editor and publisher of Everything Greendale. He has over 20 years experience as an award-winning newspaper editor, writer and publisher. His work has been read in in over 50 publications across the U.S. and abroad. Bill is a long-time resident of Greendale and a Greendale High School alum. Go Panthers!

1 Comment

  1. sandra

    Thank you, Mr. Attewell, for the memorial at the death of one of the finest educational leader ever to serve in Greendale. Well done.

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