Uelmen Stays in West Bend

2015.05.27_UelmenandSchlass

Assistant principals Dave Uelmen (right) and Ralph Schlass work together in the main office on Wednesday morning.

By Shelbie Proudfoot, Current Staff

Assistant principal Dave Uelmen is no longer leaving the West Bend School District.

The original announcement made was that Uelmen was going to step down from his assistant principal position at the high schools and become the new building principal at Central Middle School in Hartford. Then on May 13, West Bend’s superintendent Ted Neitzke announced that Uelmen will remain a West Bend employee and become the building principal of Badger Middle School just down the road from the high school.

So what prompted the change in Uelmen’s plans?

Uelmen explained that the Hartford position was open long before the principal position at Badger was available.  “The posting in Hartford was earlier than most principal jobs open,” Uelmen said.

The reason for this early posting was because Bob Kieckhefer, the current principal of Central Middle School, announced his retirement a year early. “They were able to post and interview for that job early on,” according to Uelmen, who decided to take advantage of the opportunity but always believed his heart was in West Bend.

“Badger has always been my home.”
– Dave Uelmen

“Having 16 years at Badger, 13 as a teacher, three as dean of students there, [principal at Badger] really was my dream job,” he said.

Uelmen described how he had once been a student at Badger, and how all of his children had gone to Badger as well for their schooling.

“[Badger] has always been my home,” Uelmen said.

Even though he had already accepted the Hartford job, Uelmen was still asked to interview for the Badger position. He considers himself “fortunate enough to be offered the job.”

Uelmen was hoping he would be able to stay in West Bend if he could. He described getting the job in Hartford as being like “cheating on your girlfriend.”

“It felt weird,” Uelmen said with a smile, adding that he is “more of a West Bend guy than anything else.”

(Photograph by Austin Aliota, special for The Current.)

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