Ted Neitzke speaks to educators at Back to School gathering

The Message photos by Megan Erbacher

Motivational speaker Ted Neitzke told about 600 Diocese of Evansville Catholic school educators that a big difference between Catholic schools and public schools is that Catholic schools are a community. Neitzke was the featured speaker for this year’s annual Back to School gathering July 31 at Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville. The gathering included educators from all 26 diocesan schools before Bishop Joseph M. Siegel celebrated the annual Back to School Mass to kick-off the new school year. Neitzke is the Mayor of Port Washington, Wisconsin; CEO of the non-profit CESA 6; and creator and host of the weekly podcast “The Smart Thinking Podcast.” He also previously served as the Superintendent of the West Bend School District, where he also served as assistant superintendent and principal. Neitzke spoke about empathy and leadership, and he said everyone is a leader no matter what position they hold. He encouraged educators to implement buffalo leadership, which he said includes charging into the storm optimistically taking on any challenge, perseverance, tenacity and reflection. During his presentation, Neitzke told educators not to forget it’s a blessing and a gift from God to be a teacher in a Catholic school.