VAN WERT — Superintendent Ken Amstutz gave his resignation to the Van
Wert City Schools Board of Education on Wednesday afternoon, which the
board accepted. His resignation will be effective Aug. 1.
Amstutz came to the district as superintendent in 2007.
been in the district 10 years,” Amstutz said. “When I came in, there
were a lot of things that we needed to accomplish. The financial side of
the district was in disarray.”
Amstutz noted that he was warned when he came into the position that a new tax levy would need to be passed, but he said the district
has managed with what it has had.
“In this community, I felt as
though I needed to be a good steward of their money, I felt as though
that was my challenge and my charge when I came here and I feel like I
have done that, but I also feel as though even through the challenges
financially that we’ve had, we’ve also moved things forward,” he said.
Amstutz said he has always believed that “if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards.”
I have always felt was that if we’re sitting there spinning our wheels
doing the same thing, we’re going to get the same product every year and
what I tried to do in this district - whether it was the expansion of
our STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics], whether it
was the expansion of going to project-based learning - is that we need
to challenge kids,” he said.
Amstutz believes he has made the
educational system in Van Wert City Schools better than it was 10 years
ago with the expansion of both STEM and project-based learning and
working on the relationships between administrators and the staff of the schools.
truly believe that what we are doing every day in our classrooms, what
we are doing administratively is the right thing to do and I’m not sure
how many people truly in our community know and understand that. That’s a
shortcoming,” he said of something he wished he would have accomplished
in the district.
Amstutz’s passion for education will not end with the completion of his service at Van Wert City Schools.
certainly not going to retire,” he said. “I know one thing and that’s
education. When I move it will be something, I’m not sure what it would
be in education, but it would be in education. I understand kids. I
“I’m not ready to retire. I feel like I have
way too much to offer than to do that, but I think it’s a good time to
move on from Van Wert,” he added.
Amstutz noted that he would like
to learn how to work more with legislators to help them understand
education at the local level and how much educators do outside of
educating just to have students in a position so that they are able to
“My big hope is that [the district] continue[s] where we
are and that you get somebody in here that’s going to take it farther
than I am capable of taking it,” he said of the future of Van Wert City
Also during the meeting, the board heard a presentation
from members of the award-winning, state championship Van Wert High
School Robotics Team. The team will compete at the end of the month in
Iowa at the North Super-Regional competition where the team has a chance
to advance to the World Championship.
Coaches Zane McElroy and
Bob Spath and team members, freshman Sydney Maller, freshman Nick
Carter, junior Katie Able and sophomore Noah Carter, showed off their
The team explained that a match begins with an autonomous
period that lasts 30 seconds. This is when the robot must be
pre-programmed to complete a task.
Then it moves to a two-minute
period where the students can drive the robot and the main goal is to
pick up wiffleballs and put them in a goal in the center of the playing
In the end game the robot has to pick up a yoga ball and put it in the center goal.
work doesn’t end after the robot is made. The students still have to
maintain it, update new parts as pieces break or get worn down and
adjust as needed. Then when it comes to competition day, two students
are designated to scouting the other teams to see who are the teams best
compatible with their own so that they can work together as an
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of
George Scoot, a high school social studies teacher, after eight years
with the district and Shad Foster was approved a supplemental contract.
The next meeting is set for 4 p.m. April 19 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Lecture Hall.