The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 22, 2024

VWCS board names Kaufman interim supt.

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Two hours before Vantage Superintendent Staci Kaufman was to attend her last board meeting at that school, Van Wert City Board of Education was approving her for a new job: interim superintendent for the school district.

Vantage Superintendent Staci Kaufman at a board meeting at that school. VW independent file photo

Although Kaufman had retirement plans set up, she agreed to put those aside for up to a year after Van Wert school officials approached a little over a week ago to see if she would consider taking on the interim superintendent’s position.

During a special meeting held Thursday afternoon, VWCS Board President Debby Compton said her board decided to seek an interim superintendent after several of the best candidates to replace retiring Superintendent Ken Amstutz dropped out of the running to take other positions.

Kaufman was an easy choice, Compton noted, because of her familiarity with the district and the community.

“She has worked closely with Van Wert City Schools over the last 10 years while serving as superintendent for Vantage Career Center,” Compton said. “Her leadership experience and business background will assist Van Wert City Schools over this next year of transition, as we continue our search for a superintendent.”

Kaufman’s familiarity with Project Based Learning is also a plus, Compton noted.

“She’s totally understands Project Based Learning, and all the things we’ve done with Project Lead the Way,” the board president said of the engineering and biomedical programs VWCS created and operates in conjunction with Vantage. “She’s been involved in a lot of what we’ve done with Project Lead the Way.”

The VWCS superintendent’s position will be a new challenge for Kaufman, who has spent her entire administrative career in vocational education. To assist Kaufman with the transition, Assistant to the Superintendent Bill Clifton will take on additional, as yet undetermined duties.

Kaufman didn’t attend the meeting, but said following the Vantage school board meeting that she was looking forward to the challenge.

“They (the VWCS board) wanted someone to fill the position in the interim who would be an easy transition for staff and keep the district’s momentum moving forward,” Kaufman said, noting that she feels her background makes her an easy fit for the job. “As I talked with the board, I realized that we had a lot of the same philosophies and thoughts.”

Also Thursday, Van Wert Elementary Assistant Principal Justin Krogman was named VWES principal to replace retiring Kevin Gehres, whose resignation was accepted by the board earlier this month, while fourth-grade teacher Tracy Wehner, who came to VWES from the Lima City Schools, was named administrative assistant to the principal to replace Krogman.

The board also took approved two Community Reinvestment Area agreements during the special meeting. Those included a $1.5 million project in the former Varco-Pruden building in Van Wert Industrial Park by Forest River Inc., which could create more than 100 jobs, and a $2 million project at 120 W. Main St. by Van Rue Properties Inc. for new construction and renovations to the building.

POSTED: 06/30/17 at 8:57 am. FILED UNDER: News