Wittenberg University’s education program aims to foster the capacities of character, competence and community required to be an effective change agent in today's classroom.
Brian Kuhn, class of 2003, who majored in middle childhood education with concentrations in math and science, is a shining example of this program. Kuhn, born in Burlington, Kentucky, currently resides in Springfield and was named the superintendent of the Clark-Shawnee Local School District in March 2018.
“Obtaining an educational degree and teaching license from Wittenberg University means you have aligned yourself with a department and faculty committed to your future success as an educator, and it means that you are part of a program that is connected to schools and educational leaders in the community of Springfield,” said Kuhn, who served the district one year as a building principal and six years as the assistant superintendent before moving into his current position. “It means that you are being prepared for and equipped to enter a profession that has profound impacts on future generations.
“Teaching is a noble profession and one that is sometimes taken for granted, but the education department at Wittenberg does not take its role for granted,” he continued. “The education department continues to strive for excellence and collaborates with local districts and leaders, including Clark-Shawnee Local Schools. In one word, the education department is passionate - passionate about its mission to create teachers that are successful and effective as 21st-century educators.”
Upon graduating from Wittenberg, Kuhn had a goal of securing a teaching position in a school district where he could make a difference in the lives of his students. He taught fifth grade at Indian Valley Middle School in the Greenon/Mad River Green Local School District. During that time, he was one of four teachers selected to become a STARBASE instructor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where his teaching goals changed.
“In 2003, I did not have school administration on my radar. I was content with having a positive impact on the students I taught,” said Kuhn, who was involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, served as a resident assistant for two years, and was a member of the Wittenberg University Student Education Association, the Wittenberg Education Honorary, the committee to Redesign the First-Year Experience, and the Student Appellate Board during his time at Wittenberg.
“I taught fifth grade students from across the Miami Valley for four-and-a-half years at Wright-Patterson, and I realized I had the skills and desire to bring about educational change on a larger scale than one single classroom,” he said.
He took his first principalship at Hustead Elementary (Greenon/Mad River Green Local School District) in February of 2009 after earning a master’s degree in educational leadership from 2006-2008 and his principal licensure in 2008-2009 from the University of Dayton.
“I have always enjoyed -- and still do enjoy -- teaching in a classroom,” he said. “Along the way, I realized the impact that building- and district-level leaders can have on advancing student growth and achievement. Wittenberg not only prepared me for my first job, but also prepared me with the skills and core values that serve me in my current position. I believe that schools should help students think critically, act morally, and serve others - an educational philosophy that I embraced during my time at Wittenberg.”
Kuhn and his wife, Erin (Gallagher) Kuhn, Wittenberg class of 2004, have five children.
“We enjoy the opportunities we have to take our kids over to Wittenberg, where they can roll down Myers Hollow and walk through the campus that brought both of us so many great memories,” Kuhn said.