Eric Ward began his tenure as Clintonville High School (CHS) Activities Director/Associate Principal on Monday, Aug. 18. He was hired to the position left vacant when Scott Werfal accepted the Clintonville Middle School Principal position.
Ward earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and went on to earn his teaching certificate at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Ward spent 12 years teaching English at Appleton East High School. While teaching, he worked on his Master’s Degree and principal certificate through Viterbo University. He completed those studies last summer.
“I have been looking for a school district that would feel like home,” explained Ward. “I’m originally from Appleton, and I enjoyed teaching at Appleton East, but I have been looking for a small town school district.
“I was also looking for a district that had good mentors. Clintonville definitely has that at the high school and throughout the entire district,” said Ward, who had met Clintonville High School Principal Lance Bagstad through Viterbo University.
“Lance (Bagstad), Scott (Werfal) and Tom (O’Toole) have been very friendly and helpful during my transition to Clintonville. I wanted to end up in a place like this, and I’m happy to be here.”
Ward said his 12 years of classroom experience help him bring a unique perspective to administration.
“I understand the bigger picture of what we’re doing,” he said. “While I enjoyed the classroom, I decided it was time for me to do something new.”
Ward has big goals for his new position, which will require him to wear many hats.
“On the activities director side, I want to help build the athletic programs and activities that are offered,” he said. “Some are doing well, but some are struggling. I want to build connections within the youth sports programs in the community. It’s obvious that this community values athletics, and I want to help build all of the programs both in the schools and in the community.”
As associate principal, Ward said he wants to make sure the school has the best staff members on board.
“I want to make sure we have great teachers,” he said. “I’m excited to work with the high school staff. I’ve only met a few of them so far, but they have been warm and welcoming. I look forward to learning from them as we move forward.”
When it comes to career moves, Ward said he doesn’t see his position in Clintonville as a stepping stone.
“I want to find out if this district is a good fit,” he said. “I think it is. I don’t want to skip around from district to district. Things sometimes change, but if the district wants me here, I want to be here. I see myself being here quite a while.
“The reception I’ve received in Clintonville has been overwhelmingly positive,” he concluded. “People have been very kind and gracious in helping me over my first few days.”
Ward and his family live in Kaukauna, while his kids attend school in Appleton. Ward enjoys golfing, spending time with his family, and playing guitar. He also is an avid reader.