After serving eight years as Middle School principal in the Lodi School District, Joe Prosek is moving on.

He and his family are moving to Iowa, where he’s going to work for an Area Education Association similar to Wisconsin’s CESAs, which stands for Cooperative Educational Service Agency.

“I was certainly not intending to leave or even looking for another position, but an opportunity presented itself and it was something we could not pass up,” said Prosek.

In the process of completing his 21st year in education, Prosek spent eight of those years as a teacher and 13 as a principal, both at the elementary and middle school levels. He first arrived in Lodi in July 2013 and was embraced with open arms.

“I was very impressed with both the community and school district,” said Prosek. “The community was so welcoming and supportive. The school district was innovative and focused.”

In his time at Lodi, Prosek has witnessed some remarkable changes in education.

The biggest, he said, was “moving to a 1 to 1 technology plan in grades 6-12 a number of years ago, which paid huge dividends during this pandemic and virtual learning. Secondly, the district’s focus on incorporating Social Emotional learning. The biggest change in education that I have seen is the influx of new technology and social media and how that has changed teaching and learning.”

It’s a tough time for educators, as less people are getting into the field.

“One of the biggest issues is the lack of young people going into the profession,” said Prosek. “I have heard the numbers are down by a third over the last decade across the country. This is troubling.”

Looking back, Prosek enjoyed his time in Lodi. He believes the district will continue to push forward and offer students a top-notch education. What made his experience at Lodi special?

“The people,” said Prosek. “The students and staff are great, this community should be very proud. I also really enjoyed working with the school board, administrative team, and District Administrators Charles Purcell and Vince Bruenig. I feel this district is in a great position under Vince Breunig’s leadership.”

Above all, what will Prosek miss the most?

“I am going to miss a lot, but I am going to miss the students the most,” said Prosek. “The students have always been my number one focus and I am going to miss them immensely.”

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