Bothe relishes challenges
New administrator likes small-town feel of Clintonville
By Bert Lehman
With the start of the school year Bob Bothe embarked on his new career as a school administrator.
Bothe will serve as Clintonville High School Associate Principal and Activities Director, coming to the district after spending 16 years in the Hillsboro School District in southwest Wisconsin. His path to school administration started seven years ago.
“I was told if I wanted to stay with the Hillsboro School District that I needed to obtain an alternative education license,” Bothe said. “I decided to do that and I decide to change over to a social studies teacher, GED instructor and alternative education at risk coordinator. I started adding other roles to my repertoire – attendance officer, work study coordinator, and it just kept building and building.”
Performing so many different roles, Bothe said he began thinking about pursuing a role in school administration.
“When I needed some credits to renew my license I decided I was going to take the administrative route,” Bothe said. “For the better part of two years now I’ve been taking course work at Marian University in Fond du Lac and I’m in my last semester there.”
When he saw the vacancy for the associate principal and activities director in the Clintonville School District, Bothe said he thought it was a good opportunity for him. After speaking with and receiving encouragement from the athletic director in the Hillsboro School District, Bothe pursued the Clintonville vacancy.
The Clintonville School Board hired Bothe at a July 25 meeting.
“It’s a dual role that I’m going to learn about in both seats at the same time with open arms because it’s something I feel I have a passion for both education and activities,” Bothe said.
Bothe said he had heard of the city of Clintonville twice before. One being the time Clintonville was experience booming noises, which were the result of minor earthquakes. Mike Jirschele’s run in Major League Baseball was the second thing Bothe associated with Clintonville.
“I married a Jirschele,” Bothe said. “It’s a name that’s not very common and they’re distant, distant, distant cousins. They met randomly here and there.”
Originally from Eden, which is southeast of Fond du Lac, Bothe said Clintonville is larger than Hillsboro, which has a population around 1,300.
“I knew that moving to a larger setting would be good for me to get a little bit more experience,” he said. “I didn’t want to go real big. I didn’t want to go to a metro area. I still wanted a town with a small town feel.”
Bothe acknowledged he has a lot to learn for both positions, but he has received plenty of support from school staff.
Prior to the start of the school year, Bothe said he had met a few students.
“It’s always exciting that first day of school,” Bothe said.
He added that he is excited to progress in his dual roles and wants to be recognized as a person that students can talk to.
Bothe, his wife and two children have moved to Clintonville and are renting a house. He has a daughter entering fifth grade and a son entering first grade.
“As big of a transition this is for me, it’s a huge transition for her (daughter),” Bothe said. “In her previous school she still would have had one more year in the elementary school.”
Outside of school, Bothe said he and his family enjoy spending time outdoors, biking, going for walks, going to parks, as well as geocaching. He added that he is excited for the opportunity and is thankful for the Clintonville School District for providing him with this opportunity.