Principal's Message

Darla Dunlap

Darla Dunlap

We at VWMS believe that middle school is a time when students begin to emerge as independent thinkers and start taking ownership of their learning.  During these years, students are shaping their beliefs and creating habits while developing the knowledge, skills, and attributes they will need to be successful in the years to come.  Our goal is to provide students with engaging and authentic learning experiences that will allow them to thrive educationally, emotionally, and socially.  We strive to become partners with families and Van Wert Community stakeholders so that we can support each student in a positive manner.  

As a member of the VWMS community, you are encouraged to display the characteristics of “Cougar Pride in all you do”.  


“It was once said of a Cougar; a strong proud climber is he.  But it is only because of his hope and desire that he can make it up that tree.”  


Characteristics of Cougar Pride include being trustworthy, respectful, and responsible.  Every day you will be asked to (P.A.W.S.):

  • show Pride
  • Act with kindness
  • be Willing to lead
  • show Self-awareness


We will encourage you to take risks and learn from your failures.  We will remind you often that “the only true failure is when you stop trying.”  We will ask you to “love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning” (Carol Dweck) because “What You Do Matters” every day at VWMS!

To the class of 2027, 2028 and 2029, we welcome you and your families into the VWMS learning community and remind you that the more you become involved and connected the more you will learn and grow.  

Darla Kay Dunlap & Ben Collins
Van Wert Middle School


2022-2023 Back-to-School Info


Opening Day Parent Information


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6th Grade Orientation



7th Grade Parent Meeting


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