07-31-03: Niekamp to head Auglaize ESC
|By JANIE SOUTHARD
The Daily Standard
FORT RECOVERY - District Superintendent Pat Niekamp is leaving his
position to accept the top spot at the Auglaize County Educational Service Center (ESC),
effective January 2004.
The ESC superintendent position was offered to Niekamp at this week's
meeting of the Auglaize County ESC board of governors. Current ESC Superintendent Ron
Pepple will retire at the end of the year.
Niekamp, 54, told The Daily Standard on Wednesday morning the job
opportunity just came along at the right time and he's looking forward to new challenges.
"But, on the other hand, it's hard to leave a place you've been for so many
years," he said.
His entire 30-plus years in education have been spent at Fort Recovery
beginning as a history teacher, progressing to high school principal and the past 12 years
have been served as superintendent.
A native of St. Henry and resident of Fort Recovery, he said he
has no plans to move to the Wapakoneta area.
"Yes, it's a long drive, but we're happy here and my daughter will be a
senior this year. Since the ESC district is the whole county, it doesn't really matter
where I live," Niekamp said.
Fort Recovery board of education President Dan Kahlig said Niekamp's leadership
will be missed.
"Pat has gone above and beyond his role as
superintendent. He assumed overseeing the recent $17 million elementary and middle school
building project ... which saved the district thousands of dollars that normally would
have gone to a construction manager," Kahlig said.
The board will begin immediately to search for his replacement.
Niekamp said he plans to retire as Fort Recovery superintendent to take
the ESC position. Ohio educators are allowed to collect retirement benefits and then take
another full-time position.
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