The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

L’view hires new elementary principal

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Lincolnview Local Board of Education accepted the resignation of Elementary Principal Gordon Stemen and then hired his replacement during its July meeting Tuesday at the school.

Lincolnview Superintendent Jeff Snyder also recognized Stemen with a plaque for his 21 years of service to the district as a teacher and principal.

Outgoing Lincolnview Elementary Principal Gordon Stemen gets emotional as he talks about the district and its staff. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
Outgoing Lincolnview Elementary Principal Gordon Stemen gets emotional as he talks about the district and its staff. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

Stemen, who is leaving to become LifeLinks Community School director in Van Wert, was emotional as he talked about his time at Lincolnview. “What makes Lincolnview special is its people,” the veteran principal told the board, noting that he would miss fellow staff members.

Later in the meeting, the board approved a three-year limited administrative contract for Stemen’s replacement, Nita McKinney. A Botkins native, McKinney has been an intervention specialist and middle school language arts teacher at New Bremen Local Schools in Auglaize County for the past 12 years. Prior to that she was an intervention specialist at West Middle School in the Lima City School District and also served in an administrative position for Upper Scioto Valley Local Schools for two years.

The new elementary principal earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Urbana University in 1995 and two master’s degrees, one in special education and the other in supervision, from the University of Dayton.

Two new teachers were also welcomed by the board on Tuesday. Elizabeth Utz was given a one-year limited contract during Tuesday’s meeting as a third-grade teacher, while Kristen Harden was hired last month as a fourth-grade teacher last month.

Also given a one-year limited contract on Tuesday was Kristy J. Ringwald, who will teach English in the high school and also be yearbook advisor. Beth Schnipke’s resignation as yearbook advisor was also approved at the meeting, while Kyle Hayes also resigned his supplemental position as eighth grade girls’ basketball coach.

Amy Dunlap was also given a one-year limited contract as a bus driver for the 2013-2014 school year.

Treasurer Troy Bowersock presented a financial report for the district, noting that this coming year will be the final year of a three-year contract for teachers and non-teaching staff members. He noted that teachers and other staff will receive a half-percent raise this year, while administrative staff are currently under a voluntary pay freeze.

Bowersock noted that, although district expenditures continue to increase and revenues decrease — with losses of an estimated $200,000 in personal property taxes and approximately $300,000 in interest payments, as well as cuts in state foundation allocations — revenues remain higher than expenditures. That situation has been in place for the past 16 years — since 1997, Bowersock said.

New teachers Kristen Harden (left) and Elizabeth Utz (right) flank new Lincolnview Elementary Principal Nita McKinney. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)
New teachers Kristen Harden (left) and Elizabeth Utz (right) flank new Lincolnview Elementary Principal Nita McKinney. (Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent)

The treasurer commended staff members for working together to keep spending under budget.

During his report, Snyder said that an additional 16 security cameras have been installed in district school buildings as part of an upgrade in security throughout the district, and also talked about the upcoming state report cards, which this year will carry letter grades, instead of the prior designations of excellent, adequate, continuous improvement, etc.

While the superintendent said administrators statewide have little idea on just what grade their school districts may receive from the new rating system, he added that Lincolnview staff would continue to work hard to maintain the district’s educational programs.

“We have been told that an ‘A’ will be very hard to get,” he told board members. “It is still an unknown, but we will be working very hard to improve our rating as time progresses.”

Snyder said he would likely know more about how the district ranked by the August board meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 20.

POSTED: 07/31/13 at 7:02 am. FILED UNDER: News