Adam Wagner, principal at Patrick Henry High School, is all set to take over for Principal Michael Lane at Pettisville High School. Although Patrick Henry isn’t too far from Pettisville, it is going to give Wagner a much closer commute and keep him close to his community of friends and family.
Wagner, who starts at Pettisville on Aug. 1, was searching for a community that had both a common vision and mission. A place where everybody knows everybody. A place where he could work where the job isn’t just an 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. job.
A place that promotes relationship building with other community members while attending the local basketball game or a choir concert. “A place where the school serves as a hub and community evolves around the school,” said Wagner.
“I was drawn to the small community with a great school system. It is rare that you find a school that is both academically and athletically top notch,” said Wagner.
Wagner is no stranger to the close knit community that the academic world fosters. He started his teaching career in Fostoria as a long-term sub in the ceramic department. He enjoyed this job as it was in a small community not unlike the one where he grew up.
Wagner then took another art focused job at Riverview High School in Warsaw, Ohio, also a small community school, southwest of Columbus. Next Wagner accepted a job at the Evergreen Local Schools again as an art teacher. This is where Wagner met Superintendent Josh Clark, then principal at Evergreen.
Clark originally hired Wagner and then, during a routine evaluation, inspired (or pushed according to Wagner) him to go into administration. “He provided me the confidence by opening my eyes to the opportunity,” said Wagner.
A few weeks later Wagner took the next step in his career by enrolling in the Educational Leadership Masters Program at Bowling Green State University. Wagner may have learned some of his leadership skills from BGSU but he accredits being fortunate enough to work with some pretty great mentors en route through his career path.
Wagner mentions three mentors that each propelled him to actively pursuing his career in education by leading in exemplary ways. The first, Chuck Rinkes, while working together at Riverview High School showed Wagner by example what it was like to put others first. “He had me ready to run through a brick wall to help,” said Wagner.
At Evergreen Local Schools, Clark also modeled what it was like to lead by putting people first by showing grace while in the midst of turmoil. Tragedy had struck their school while Clark and Wagner worked there. They lost a co-worker and friend to an unforeseen death. Clark went above and beyond to help all those who were mourning. He has been a great motivator in Wagner’s life.
Josh Biederstedt, Superintendent of Patrick Henry Schools, was the other educator that helped shape Wagner’s leadership style. “It was all about the culture he created in the school by putting people first,” Wagner said.
When asked where he sees himself in five years, he said “I will have built trust-filled relationships that have a strong set foundation. I will feel comfortable – knowing all my students’ names and their families,” Wagner stated.
Wagner is ready to help his community to succeed. “Time is flying by! I am excited to get started meeting everybody,” Wagner said.