Former UNI Panther coming to direct Knoxville Panthers


Ryan Paulsen was hired by the Knoxville School Board to take over as Activities Director on July 1.
Originally from Belmond, and graduate from Belmond-Klemme High, Paulsen was a four-sport athlete, musician and singer. From there, he went on to the University of Northern Iowa, where he earned four letters as a member of the men’s basketball team.
When not on the court for UNI, Paulsen was earning a social science degree. His first teaching job was at Okoboji Schools. Throughout his 14-year teaching career, he has taught government and world history. For much of his career, he has been activities director at both the high school and middle school levels.
“I’m a big believer in the life skills participation in activities can offer,” Paulsen said. Being part of a team, finding your path, setting goals – all of these things can help youth develop skills that will serve them well later in life.
At the time of his interview, Paulsen was unaware of any of the nuances his predecessor, Ryan Rump, had integrated into the system of scheduling Knoxville Schools’ activities. Therefore, he was unsure of any changes he would like to make. He is eager to find a home in Knoxville to take inventory and get a feel for the way things are done here. Paulsen knows of Knoxville’s strong tradition and he hopes to fit into that.
As for Rump, he accepted a position with the Newton Community School District. His contract ends on June 30.
Paulsen is eager to join the Knoxville Panther team in all areas – sports, music, the arts, etc. He has three sons, ages 13, 10 and 8, all of whom are involved in activities and will continue to be.
“I’m really excited to come down there, join the Panther family, work with everyone within our school and our community,” Paulsen said.