There’s nothing like an early failure to bring about a success. But as retired Vermilion Schools Supt. Phil Pempin tells it, that failure got him thinking in a different direction, one which changed the district forever. After 14 years of plays, athletic contests, state report cards, hiring and firing of personnel, and least of all, a pandemic, Pempin officially retired at the end of July, ushering in a new era in the Vermilion Local School District.

                Pempin said his early achievement as a superintendent, consolidating all the schools on one campus without going to taxpayers, was brought about by an early and repeated problem of his predecessors – failing a levy. “When I came in, almost immediately, we found a need, based on what our books looked like, to have to put a levy on the ballot, but it failed. It wasn’t a good feeling to fail it.  I didn’t like going to the taxpayers because who wants to pay more money for taxes? No one that you ask. It wasn’t a good feeling to knock on people’s doors and ask them for money.”