Van Wert Elementary assistant principal Tracy Wehner was recently chosen as the Ohio Assistant Principal of the Year by the Ohio Association of Elementary Administrators. The award is officially named, “Outstanding Second in Command Administrator.”
Wehner noted that she was originally nominated for the award by Elementary Principal Justin Krogman.
“I was pretty shocked and honored,” said Wehner when she found out about the award. “I don’t look at what I do as anything extraordinary.”
Wehner said that she loves the collaboration that occurs with the local teachers.
“We all grow together,” said Wehner. “I speak from my heart and try to be genuine and heartfelt with my work.”
Wehner described the process toward the award as “lengthy.” She noted that after Krogman nominated her, she had to fill out an application detailing her domain, accomplishments and impact she had hoped to make as a teacher.
“I was selected to go to Columbus and be interviewed by three other teachers,” said Wehner. “I made it through those phases and returned to Van Wert. A select group of principals came to visit and I gave them a tour of the building. They sat down and talked with three other groups of people. Eventually I was selected for the award.”
Wehner said that one of the most important aspects of education is seeing what can be created for the students.
“I love kids and I love the school,” said Wehner. “I try to create an environment where they love to come. I am a fervent believer in servant leadership.
“One of the biggest things is to let people know that you care and that you care about their children,” continued Wehner. “You want them to know that you are a caring listener and that you want to help raise good people.”
Wehner’s maiden name is Tracy Zielke and she graduated from Wayne Trace High School in 1996. She did her undergraduate work at Otterbein where she received her BA in elementary education. She received a first masters degree from Cohart majoring in curriculum and teaching. She then received a second master’s degree in educational leadership. She continued to train for school leadership through the SAIL Program of the Ohio Association of Elementary Teachers.
Wehner noted that her “call to teaching” actually came in the third grade under the teaching dynamic of Miss Bunde.
“She was so dedicated to the kids. She had stickers and ways that the kids could rack up points. I was so fortunate to have her. She inspired me to go into the education field,” observed Wehner.
Before coming to the Van Wert Schools, Wehner taught third grade in the Lima City Schools for 14 years.
“I thought that it was something because it was my favorite grade to grow up in,” said Wehner.
“After 17 years of teaching, I had administration back in my head,” said Wehner. “I talked to Mr. Gehres and he told me that he thought that I was called to go into administration, but I would have to get another Masters Degree.”
Wehner and her husband, Todd, who works in Quality Management in Fort Wayne, have three children, all students in the Crestview School system.
“I want to be able to give back to kids, especially since so many kids do not have the home life we would like for them to have,” said Wehner. “I want them to love school and feel safe.”
Article courtesy of the Times Bulletin