Swanton Local School welcomed several new staff members as the school year began.
Ernie Ruiz, 43, is a new American History teacher at Swanton Middle School. Ruiz has a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a gifted and talented endorsement from the University of Cincinnati.
What he likes best about his new job is the new challenge and getting to meet new people. He looks forward to “finding new ways to be successful and helping new students excel.”
He will also coach the high school wrestling team.
Ruiz enjoys sports, working out, and golf.
Ruiz is originally from Toledo and resides there.
Jeffrey M. Bella, 41, is the new director of transportation services. He has an associate’s degree in Applied Science – Diesel Technology from Owens Community College and other training.
“I am looking forward to the combination of administrative and mechanical requirements to this job and meeting and working with all the new people,” he said.
He added that he has always been interested in a position in a school system that combine his skills into a position that would benefit the community.
His hobbies include truck and tractor restoration.
He is married, with a son and daughter. Bella is originally from Ottawa Lake, Mich., and lives in Blissfield.
Kirk Braden Ostojic, 24, is a new English teacher at Swanton High School. He has a bachelor of applied arts at Central Michigan University and a master’s degree from the University of Toledo.
“I look forward to learning about the community and working with the staff to make a challenging and productive curriculum,” he said.
What he likes best about his new job is getting to experiment with new classes and to interact with a good community that is close to home. He’d like to add more to the theater department by adding an improv show.
Ostojic’s hobbies include watching movies, reading books, and playing guitar.
He is originally from Naperville, Ill., and resides in Sylvania.
Kathryn (Katie) George, 32, is an intervention specialist at Swanton Elementary School. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and intervention specialist from Heidelberg University and a Master of Education in divergent learning from Columbia College.
Her hobbies include running, photography, live music, and art.
George is originally from Rossford and resides there.
Kersten Davis, 22, is a new intervention specialist at the middle school. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education, Intervention from Bowling Green State University.
Davis said she is looking forward to making connections with students and connecting them to their education.
“My co-teachers are amazing and I’m looking forward to growing with them,” she said.
Her hobbies include crafting, singing, and soccer.
Davis is originally from Jackson, Ohio, and resides in Swanton.
Brittany Rolfes, 23, is a new intervention specialist at the elementary school. Rolfes graduated from Capital University with a bachelor’s in intervention specialist and psychology.
“I am excited to meet all the students I will be working with and collaborating with parents and teachers,” she said before the school year began.
Rolfes added that she loves working with students and helping them reach their full potential.
Her hobbies include bowling and reading.
Rolfes is engaged and resides in Liberty Center.
Brittany Ventimiglia, 34, is a new elementary school secretary.
She looks forward to “getting a handle on everything Betse (Schmitz) had done for so many years.” She added that she loves getting to be around the students and other staff.
Her hobbies include watching sports and spending time with family.
Ventimiglia is married, with three daughters. She is a Swanton native and resides there.
Heidi Bellner is also a new elementary school secretary. She attended Northwest Missouri State University.
What she likes best about the new job is the kids. “This age group has a way of reminding me how special each day is.”
She looks forward to getting to know the kids and the “fabulous staff at SES.”
Bellner’s hobbies include watching her kids play sports.
She is married, with a son and daughter. She is originally from Beatrice, Neb., and resides in Whitehouse.