Warsaw Community Schools recognized retiring school board member Jay Baumgartner on December 14, 2020. Jay was inspired in 2012 to run for school board as an extension of his desire to serve this community. As Senior Vice President of Financial Services at Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services, Jay offered a wealth of expertise. Jay brought more than just a financial background; he was also the parent of a child in elementary school, another in middle school, and a third at WCHS. Eric graduated in 2009, Ryan graduated in 2015, and the youngest child of Jay and Deb, Kyle, graduated with the Class of 2020.
According to Jay, “It is critical for students to discover their dreams by exposing them to various experiences available along with the best education possible. Exposure to new experiences helps students find their dream.” Jay’s continued desire for students attending WCS is for them to have opportunity.
During his tenure, Jay was part of significant achievements for WCS that include successful financing for Lincoln, Washington, and Edgewood building projects, diligent oversight of self-funded insurance and benefits funds for faculty and staff, support for employee health clinic, partnerships with community mental health services for social emotional well-being of students and staff, meaningful negotiations with WCEA, increased priority of support staff hourly wages, and steady leadership throughout the 2020 pandemic and reopening of our schools.
Dr. David Hoffert, Superintendent, noted WCS has been blessed through Jay’s service to our corporation. On a professional level, he brought a strong business and financial expertise to our board. His knowledge into the areas such as insurance funds, school finance, tax impacts and long-term planning have been invaluable to our corporation and community. On a personal level, Jay is a mentor and friend. He possesses a talent in providing calm and insightful wisdom in extremely complex situations. Our schools and community are a better place thanks to his terms of service.
School Board President Heather Reichenbach added “Jay has been an invaluable member of our team as a servant leader of this board and an advocate for all within Warsaw Community Schools. His presence has provided a quiet steadiness to the board, in addition to his keen professional insights and provoking questions. Along with his humor, Jay’s 8 years of institutional experience will be missed and it’s hard to imagine future meetings without him.”
Jay Baumgartner also serves on the Cardinal Services Board of Directors. Weekends are filled with helping to run videos for his church’s morning services, time with family, and working on projects around the house. Jay hopes to get back into playing some golf - a hobby he once enjoyed quite a bit. In January 2021, Matt Deuel will join the board as representative for District 6. Warsaw Community Schools would like to thank Jay Baumgartner for his service and contributions.