After 32 years, ‘The Arndt Teaching Style’ to retire

Anna McCarthy, Business Manager

Science teacher Pat Arndt has reached the end of his teaching career and will be retiring after being part of the Berlin Area School District for 32 years. Throughout his time here, he has impacted students both in the classroom and out with programs like the ropes course, Trees for Tomorrow and Science Club trips.

“I think some of my best memories of teaching might have been the field trips. The camping trips up to the Chequamegon National Forest that I did with kids. Some other good memories are going to Isle Royale with the seventh graders, getting kids out at the school forest and up on the ropes course. Getting kids outside of school, the science club trips were just great memories,” Arndt said.

Arndt says that his initial interest in biology was from his high school teacher. 

“My advanced biology teacher in high school, Mr. Case, just made me fall in love with biology. We got to do research projects on rats and it just got me excited. I was always kind of interested in the natural world learning species, but it was Mr. Case that fired me up,” Arndt said.

I’ve learned that kids need discipline and respect and when you demand it the classroom management is relatively easy. Being blunt and direct and saying things directly to students is probably the best approach. The Arndt style.

— Science Teacher Pat Arndt

Arndt says that his interest in teaching came from his parents.

“My mom and my dad were both teachers. My dad taught for 36 years and never missed a day of school,” Arndt said.

With retirement comes saying goodbye to a lot of things that teachers have been part of for a large portion of their lives. 

“I’ll miss my colleagues. I’ll miss challenging the kids to work harder in their classes and love science and push themselves,” Arndt said. 

One of his closest colleagues, Amy Wenig, is also retiring this year. Arndt and Wenig have been teaching together for 31 years. 

“Mr. Arndt and I have a similar sense of humor and quickly became friends when we first started working together. We spent over 20 years working side-by-side at the table for volleyball games sharing many laughs. We made some legendary pie day videos together,” Wenig said. “Then there is our DJing career where we DJed Prom and Winterfest together. We are also great friends outside of school. We’ve traveled together, raised our kids together and simply did life together…including neck surgery!  It’s having a friend like Mr. Arndt that makes BHS so incredibly special.”

In his time here, Arndt says that he has learned a few very important lessons about students. 

“All kids have good in them, even though they don’t always show it. I’ve also learned that I don’t trust any child unless I can see them,” Arndt said. 

Arndt has also developed a very effective teaching style in his 32 years of teaching. 

“I’ve learned that kids need discipline and respect and when you demand it the classroom management is relatively easy. Being blunt and direct and saying things directly to students is probably the best approach. The Arndt style,” Arndt said.

While Arndt may act like a tough guy, those that know him well say that there is a little more to him. 

“Under that tough-guy exterior is a guy with a huge heart who will do anything for anybody. He truly wants the best for everyone in his world. I consider myself lucky to call him one of my best friends,” Wenig said. 

Even though Arndt is retiring from school, he still will have a full time job running his winery, along with a variety of other activities that he says he hopes to get back to doing. 

“I am going to run the Pine River Winery. I’m going to start bird banding again and get my master bird banding license. I have some friend groups in the area and they do stream monitoring once a month in the summer, so I am going to help out with that because I have time. I want to get back to hunting and fishing a little bit more. I also want to get up north and visit my folks a little bit while they’re still alive,” Arndt said. 

Wenig says that Arndt’s determination for teaching students doesn’t go unseen.

“Mr. Arndt is one of the finest teachers I know. He has high expectations because he knows kids can reach them. I appreciate his determination in getting kids to learn. I know he has made a difference in many kids’ lives,” Wenig said.

Arndt has also impacted many students like senior Amber Dretske.

“He has pushed me to become a better student and stay on top of my work. He doesn’t lecture and then continue without the understanding of the whole class. He not only cares about what he is teaching and his students within school, but also their home lives and mental health,” Dretske said.

While Arndt may be leaving, he says that he hopes students will take some of his lessons with them throughout their lives.

“I really do care about the planet, and I hope they take care of the planet. Be a lifelong learner and always have a sense of wonder, especially about the natural world. There’s so much that we don’t know yet,” Arndt said.