Time period/Baraboo: 1981 -2017
Submitted by: Shelly Mordini
Dave Ament was the Special Education and Assistant Superintendent from 1981-2000. For 19 years Dave Ament represented the students of Baraboo.
Dave began his teaching career in West Bend teaching Middle School social studies. During his time there he found that he enjoyed working with at-risk youth. He went back and got his Masters Degree in Special Education and started the first Emotional Behavioral program in West Bend. Dave was sidelined as a youth in sports due to his polio, but he loved football. He started to coach Middle School football and earned the nickname “Little Vince” due to his conviction that every student plays every game. With this winning attitude, his team was undefeated for four years. Dave went on to get his Specialist in Administration. Dave’s shining bright light of passion and respect for students never dimmed in his administrative role. When Dave arrived in Baraboo in 1982 to take the Director of Special Education position, the plan was this was just going to be a short stopping point on Dave’s climb up the administrative ladder, 3 years tops. Well, 36 years later Dave was still here in Baraboo and didn’t regret his decision to remain.
Dave passed away on October 10, 2017. His wife Deri received many letters from colleagues. I have included an excerpt of one letter from Craig Hamilton. “Dave Ament: a man to whom so many owe so much. Dave tirelessly wrestled with local decision-making to provide the best educational opportunities for Baraboo Students. Time after time he had Baraboo students’ backs when others attempted to reduce funding which could curtail student’s educational opportunities, quality or programs. Dave constantly challenged the school board and administration to provide programs and options to benefit Baraboo students. The strength of his convictions and tenacity helped to provide a multitude of valuable opportunities for Baraboo students. Dave’s bottom line was people: students, staff and families, so many of whom benefited from his vision, dedication, and educational expertise.”
Besides serving as the Special Education director and assistant Superintendent, Dave was an active Kiwanis member. He served on the County Club Board of Directors and helped with the Red Cross.