Bio: Bartels, Kenneth F.
(Retires - 1975)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Bartels, Anderson, Peterson
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 7/17/1975
Bartels, Kenneth F. (Retires - 1975)
Almost ten years ago the Greenwood community schools hired a new superintendent and now the time has come to change again. Kenneth F. Bartels retired as of the first of the month, with 34 1/2 years in the field of teaching and school administration.
In addition to those years, Bartels and his wife, the former Ellen Anderson of Eland, has operated the Hunt School Supply in Wautoma beginning in January of 1957 which then became Bartels’ Supply with his wife operating until October of last year.
At a meeting of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators, he was one of nine to receive recognition for the many years as an educator. In addition to a life membership, he also received a certificate congratulating him for his lifetime of schoolwork. It was signed by Governor Lucey and State School Superintendent Barbara Thompson.
After high school, Bartels continued his education at the Westfield Teachers Training Course, and in 1933 began his first teaching at Moundville Pleasant View School. He also directed the rural school band which marched in parades and took part in tournaments. He still wears with pride the ring he received at Pleasant View in 1936.
Continuing his education at Central State Teachers College in Stevens Point, he earned a bachelor of education degree and became principal of the Gleason State School, grades one through ten. Here he was the band director and also taught biology, general science and math for grades seven through ten.
In 1942, he became the principal of the eight grades at Oxford State Graded School. In addition to teaching the two upper grades, he was the high school band director and Scout Master.
Two years later, he became superintendent of Hancock Public Schools and taught an assortment of math classes and physics as well as being the band director. The system was reorganized into the present Plainfield-Hancock Tri-County schools during his stay. In 1946, he received his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In 1947, in addition to math classes and being band director Bartels taught woodworking while being superintendent of the White Lake Public Schools, which included being principal of the White Lake Grade School and the White Lake Union Free High School.
From 1951 to 1957, Bartels was superintendent in Wautoma and wears a wristwatch which was a token of appreciation of those years. In 1962, he returned to the Wautoma Public School as principal of the Junior High School and taught math seven and eight. From there he went to Argyle Public Schools the following year and remained as superintendent until coming to Greenwood mid-term in 1966.
Among the changes made during his years in Greenwood were the construction of the Greenwood Elementary School in 1970, replacing the old state graded and rural buildings in the far corners of the district. The individual guided educational system (K-8) was established. The voluntary learning lab for remedial and accredited students was set up, the school for the handicapped trainable and the primary to senior high educable.
Another innovation Superintendent Bartels fostered was the establishment of the all day kindergarten which has been in operation the past four years. The learning disabilities department was added and this past year a health teacher and coordinator was added. In cooperation with parents’ interest, a regular newsletter to parents keeps them informed.
An automotive mechanics course was set up for the three district classroom cluster including Loyal and Granton. A ballpark was also established, and the more recent innovation was the outdoor classroom at the elementary school site on the east side of the city.
Knowing he will have spare time, the Cloverbelt Conference recently presented him with a rod and reel. Members of the faculty and their families had a celebration for him at the Greenwood Park.
Having participated in community affairs, Bartels has been the president of the Greenwood Rotary. Recently he was re-appointed to serve on the Wautoma hospital board on which he had served when it was organized some years ago.
The Bartels plan to do some traveling and take in art shows. His wife does rosemaling and he will be doing some picture framing in his workshop. Then of course, there will be time to spend with their grandchildren. Their son, Douglas, is a coach in DeForest.
The past few weeks since classes were dismissed, Mr. Bartels has had the opportunity to become acquainted with his successor, Michael D. Peterson.
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