At the June Boardman Board of Education meeting, board member Kim Poma had to make a tough announcement. With the passing of board president Nik Amstutz on June 20, Poma, who served as vice president, had to inform those attending that she was now assuming the role of board president.
''We're saddened by the passing of Nik,'' she said. ''We'll miss him and his service and dedication to Boardman Schools. Keep his family in your prayers.''
Niklaus E. Amstutz was born July 7, 1963. He graduated from Boardman High School in 1981 and attended Ohio University and Youngstown State University.
Niklaus E. Amstutz
July 7m 1963 - June 20, 2014
Amstutz was a devoted community member, belonging to a long list of community and service organizations that included Boardman Rotary, Argus Lodge, Al Koran Shrine Temple in Cleveland, the Youngstown Shrine Club, the Four Square Club, the Boardman Booster Club, Boardman Civic Association and the Boardman Alumni Association.
He served a four-year term on the Boardman Board of Education and was re-elected last year for a second term that would have expired on Dec. 31, 2015. In January, he was chosen to serve as board president for 2014.
At the March 9 board meeting, Amstutz suffered a heart attack. Tim Saxton was at the meeting and immediately performed CPR that kept him alive until emergency medical crews arrived.
Amstutz pulled through and was sent to Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Warren to go through therapy while he recovered from the heart ailment. He passed away at the hospital on June 20 at the age of 50.
It was a sad time for all Boardman School employees who knew Amstutz, but was extremely hard for Boardman Schools director of operations Tim Saxton.
''I have known Nik for a long time,'' Saxton said.
Saxton said he and Amstutz attended Boardman United Methodist Church as youths. While Nik was a few years ahead of Saxton, both were Boardman football players.
''I watched Nik play football,'' Saxton said. ''He truly was a great leader.''
The one characteristic that Nik was well known for was his passion for the schools. Saxton said he stayed in the area after college and was active in the schools. He wanted to make sure all Boardman students had the same opportunities he had, whether it be in athletics, academics, or after school activities.
''He always treated kids fairly,'' Saxton said. ''He cared about all of them. He truly bled Maroon and White.''
Amstutz was also passionate about the new stadium at the high school. He got behind the effort and pushed hard to help make the dream a reality.