Paul Ott believed in Northside School District.
He lived in Northside.
His children went to Northside Schools.
He served on the Board of Trustees of Northside for 12 years.
He worked as an employee of Northside for 13 years.
Ottâ€™s association with Northside actually began before the District was formed, when his children attended the Old Mackey School on Hunt Lane. Mackey is one of 11 schools that united to become the Northside Consolidated School District in 1949.
Ott was married to his wife, Ethel Galm, for 55 years. They have two children, Mata Nell Ott Orth and Paul C. Ott, who attended the Mackey School, Northside Junior High and Northside High School (now known as Marshall High School.) Ott was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1951, and served with other school namesakes Clarence Galm and Dr. W.Z. Burke. Many tough decisions were made in those early formative years on the Board such as setting up the boundary lines for this new district, building new schools, and improving the existing schools of Northside Junior High and Northside High School.
Northside was a growing district in Ottâ€™s time. Nine elementary schools and two middle schools were opened during his tenure on the Board. In addition, the District grew from a University Interscholastic League 1A District to a 3A District. Today Northside is a 5A District.
After leaving the School Board, Ott was hired to establish the maintenance department for the District. He served as the first Director of the Northside Maintenance and Groundkeepers Department from 1963 until his retirement in 1976. Ott was the driving force in building a quality Maintenance Department by hiring the craftsmen necessary to do the jobs: carpenters, electricians, painters, and plumbers. He bought the first trucks necessary for these individuals to use while traveling throughout the District. He hired the grounds keepers for all the schools. He oversaw ordering all materials and janitorial supplies.
Ottâ€™s belief that well-maintained schools result in students who are proud of their schools and who will take care of them. He knew that high quality environments would help students be successful. He knew that efficient and clean schools would help build community pride. And he knew that employees would be better workers if their physical surroundings were conducive to teaching and learning.
â€œThose were the earlier days at Northside when our budget was â€œlean,â€ and when the words â€œjob descriptionâ€ didnâ€™t mean much,â€ says Mary Ellen Burke, Superintendentâ€™s secretary at the time. â€œOne simply did what one needed to do to get the job done. Paul Ott was the person we all called on when there was a problem. He was our â€œgo toâ€ man.â€
Paul Ott passed away in 1992.