New principal at CMS
Kuhn believes Clintonville trending upward
By Erik Buchinger
Troy Kuhn said he is looking forward to his new position as the principal at Clintonville Middle School.
Kuhn said he took the job because he thinks the district is trending upward.
“I truly believe the Clintonville School District is heading in a good direction,” Kuhn said. “They have the technology, and they have some leaders here that really have many different strengths they bring to the table.”
Kuhn has applied to the district Clintonville School District twice previously.
“I applied two years ago to be a biology, technological person and applied in an administrator role,” Kuhn said. “It just so happens that both times, a different place offered me a job first. I am an upfront, trustworthy and honest guy. I don’t try to pin people against each other. Even when I applied for this job, I had one other school district in mind that I was looking to become a head principal at. After I researched the districts, it’s a place I want to be.”
Kuhn said he enjoyed his previous job as an administrator in Keshena, Wisconsin.
“I enjoyed my time at Keshena Primary School in the Menominee Indian School District, but I just felt that the Clintonville School District has a lot going for them,” Kuhn said. “This is a larger school district to what I’m used to.”
A graduate of Plymouth High School, Kuhn went to St. Norbert College as an undergraduate for 6-12 education, majoring in biology and minoring in broadfield science.
Kuhn taught 10 years in the Gresham School District as a science teacher, and he also became the school’s technology director.
Kuhn gained more administrative work last year as the assistant principal of Keshena Primary School.
“My main objective was to deal with discipline,” Kuhn said. “However, I did a lot of other stuff, including learning about students with trauma, anti-bullying stuff, a lot of PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports), worked with teachers on classroom management and basically got involved in a lot of different things.”
Kuhn said he will look to remain visible in his new administrative role in Clintonville.
“Even though I’m a principal and not a teacher, I want to be with kids in the classroom,” Kuhn said. “I believe that being visible is a part of your job, so I don’t know what the past has been, but I will be visible. That is one thing that is non-negotiable. I want to be greeting kids when they come in, I want to be greeting staff when they come in. That’s just my personality.”
Kuhn said he is most excited to learn about the students and staff in the Clintonville School District.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people,” Kuhn said. “I feel everybody has their own story. Everybody brings their own thing to the table.”
Kuhn said the middle school will have an active Facebook page to show the community what is happening around the school.
“I want everybody to understand the good things that happen in schools,” Kuhn said. “I want a minimum of one positive Facebook post a day just so everybody knows about all the good things that are happening in the schools.”
Kuhn said he will focus on the mental and emotional side of students and staff, which will help in the classrooms.
“Especially at the middle school level but also on all levels, we need to focus on the mental, emotional and physical part of everybody,” Kuhn said. “Students have a hard time learning when they’re not mentally or emotionally prepared to learn, and staff have a hard time teaching when they’re not mentally or emotionally prepared to teach.”
Kuhn said communication is important to him, and he wants to receive several opinions before jumping to a decision.
“I’m a team person,” Kuhn said. “I rarely make decisions until I have my ducks in a row. I want to know other people’s opinions and make the decision that’s the best for everybody.”
Kuhn said he has reached out to Rexford-Lonfellow Elementary Principal Tammy Bagstad and Clintonville High School Principal Lance Bagstad to remain consistent in the district’s path.
“I believe that continuity and consistency is extremely important so what Tammy is doing at the elementary coincides with what I’m doing at the middle school, which is the stepping stone for what the kids are doing at the high school,” Kuhn said. “All the administrators need to be on the same page with what we’re trying to accomplish in the district. I think that’s extremely important and that the staff understands why we make some of our decisions. It’s for the district, and it’s for the kids. This is what we need in order for the kids to be successful.”
Kuhn has two kids with one going into second grade and another in fourth grade. He said the two will be attending St. James Lutheran School in Shawano before likely enrolling in the Clintonville School District the following year.