MINSTER– The highlight of Pat Baumer’s career is receiving cards, emails, and the face-to-face interactions with past students.
“During these interactions many of my former students recall the fun memories they had while in my class. Sometimes they mention how I played a positive role in their future. These comments hold a special place in my heart,” Baumer said.
He has been an educator for 35 years, receiving his high school diploma from Anna High School, his bachelor’s degree from Miami University, and a master degree from the University of Dayton.
“I am the son of Lawrence (deceased in 2007) and Wilma Baumer. I learned a strong work ethic as I grew up on a farm northwest of McCartyville,” he said.
He has been married to his wife, Sharon, for 34 years. They have two children.
“Our son, Ben, and his wife, Lindsey, and their four children are missionaries living in Quito, Ecuador. Our daughter, Janel, is a teacher in the Noblesville, Indiana School District,” Baumer said.
He taught a split third and fourth grade class at Russia Local Schools from 1980-1985 and from 1985-2015 he taught at Minster Local Schools. During his 30 years at Minster he taught fifth and sixth grade science for many years and finished his career teaching sixth grade science and social studies.
Baumer cites three accomplishments he is extremely proud of: Sparking an interest in many students in the science fields of study in college. Starting a paper-recycling program at the elementary. Last year over 7 tons of paper was recycled instead of going into the trash. Helping to develop and implement a fire safety program for grades K-6 at Minster.
“Early in my career I began each Friday class with a humorous story or joke. This became known as ‘Funny Friday’. When I run into students who have graduated years ago, a smile spreads across their face as they can still recite the stories or jokes word for word,” he said.
As far as the education process, he thinks small districts in this part of Ohio has some of the best around.
“I do believe that much of the “fun” in education has been pushed out with so much emphasis being put on preparing for the standardized testing. Testing is an important tool needed to evaluate the effectiveness of education. The magnitude of the testing though has grown to the point were it is no longer being effective,” Baumer said.
He said one of the biggest changes he has seen in education is technology. The use of computers and the Internet has made finding the answers to student questions a quick process rather than heading to the encyclopedia or library. Baumer also said the use of online videos can make the explanation of a topic much more interesting and effective.
He said he has a lot of plans for retirement.
“This summer is extremely busy, as we will be celebrating our daughter’s wedding on July 5. We are also enjoying our four grandchildren, as they are presently visiting from Ecuador until the end of July. In August Sharon and I will be spending 10 days touring Alaska,” Baumer said.
Once back he is back from the trip, he will spend his time taking care of the responsibilities of being secretary/treasurer of the Minster-Jackson Township Fire Department. He also hopes to stay in contact with the staff and students at Minster by subbing as a teacher and bus driver. He hopes to spend more time traveling and camping in the future with his wife.
“I have been blessed to have been part of two wonderful communities, my first five years in Russia, and my last 30 years in Minster. The value that is put on education and the support given by the community and parents makes the task of establishing a positive classroom environment so easy,” Baumer said.