Two significant losses have played a role in Randy Guttenberg’s life – the deaths of his father and his sister.
They taught him to live every day and be thankful for it, the Waunakee school district administrator told the Rotary Club during his classification talk.
Randy grew up in Monroe, Wisconsin, the youngest of three children, and enjoyed his childhood. His father was a Green Bay East High School graduate and was a supervisor at a manufacturing plant.
“He told me college is a great way to open doors for you, but remember, it’s only a piece of paper,” Randy said.
Still an avid hunter today, Randy spent his childhood mainly outdoors, enjoying sports, camping, hunting, fishing and taekwondo. His home was just blocks from the golf course, so he often grabbed his club and headed there for recreation.
As a senior in high school, Randy spent 14 weeks in the hospital with Wegener’s Granulomatosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the lungs and kidneys.
That experience made him realize what’s important in life and understand the value of faith, family and friends.
Randy and his wife have known each other since high school and were married in 1993. He and Amy have five daughters, four of whom are adopted from China, so they’ve been able to travel there.
Amy took the older daughters back to China to learn about their heritage, and Randy said watching the Olympics is fun as some root for China and others for the USA.
Randy has a bachelor’s degree in education and two master’s degrees. He is All But Dissertation, having done the coursework for his Ph.D. But he heeding his father’s advice, he realized he’d rather spend his time at home now than on research and writing.
Randy began his career in Baraboo teaching sixth and fourth grades before moving into more administrative roles. He joined the Montello district as superintendent before coming to Waunakee nine years ago.
The district is growing, Randy said, and currently has 4,188 students and 554 employees. Managing growth is one of the district’s challenges.  
“We also have changing student needs,” he said, noting that more students require English language instruction.
The district also sees more student mental health needs, and the previous evening offered a forum on drugs and alcohol among youth.
Asked what makes the district so successful, Randy said the community values education, as is evident by the many volunteers who lend their time there.
Other news:
•The proposed Dane County budget includes an additional $186,000 for the Schumacher Farm barn project. Halloween at the Farm is Oct. 22.
•The Rotary board of directors approved the following donations: $500 to the Waunakee Fire Department; $200 for Girls on the Run; $200 to the Downs Syndrome walk. Throughout the year, the club has donated $65,000 for various causes.
•Jonny Buroker received his first Paul Harris Award. Congratulations!
•The club heard from its many  committees about projects.
•Wauktoberfest was a success with the club netting between $5,000 and $6,000 in profits.
•Oct. 24 is World Polio Day. Any funds put in the Polio jar before then will be matched by the foundation.
•Todd Schmidt is seeking suggestions for speakers. If you have one, email him at:
Greeters: Oct. 13, Allison Feldbruegge and Greg Garton; Oct. 20, Randy Guttenberg and Rich Harris; Oct. 27, Mick Holm and Roxanne Johnson.