Warren schools recognize students, administrators

As we near the end of another school year, the district will send our next graduating class off to their post high school endeavors. This has been an outstanding year for our students. They have excelled both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. It is a time to recognize and celebrate their achievements.

We would also like to recognize and thank the following employees who have provided many years of outstanding service to the district:

– Nora Huffman, retiring effective June 30.

– Donna Hopkins, retiring effective May 31.

– Ralph McKenna, retiring effective Dec. 31.

– Polly Pettebone, retiring effective Aug. 1.

The district also appreciates the leadership and dedicated service of administrators who have accepted promotion or moves closer to their homes in other school districts:

– Tom Gibbs has accepted a position as associate superintendent at the Athens City School District effective Aug. 1.

– Dan Leffingwell has accepted a position as superintendent at the Noble Local School District effective Aug. 1.

– Stephanie Starcher has accepted a position as superintendent of the Fort Frye Local School District effective Aug. 1.

– Dave Hanning has accepted a position as principal of Athens High School effective Aug. 1.

– Rebecca Johnson has accepted a position as principal at Caldwell Elementary School effective Aug. 1.

The movement of administrators to higher positions in other districts indicates the quality of leadership of the WLSD administrative staff. At times these long serving administrators opt to leave the district due to employment decisions such as retirement, accepting a promotion, or moving to areas closer to their homes. Over time all districts experience this change in leadership. Warren Local intends to continue to support our teaching staff and welcome new administrators.

As the district moves forward in in filling these vacancies, we will follow a hiring process that in the past brought strong leaders to the district. The first step in filling these vacancies is to hire a new superintendent. The board has developed an aggressive schedule to select the district’s next superintendent. This plan is scheduled to conclude with an offer of employment to the next superintendent of WLSD at the June 10 board of education meeting. We look forward to reviewing applications and interviewing candidates for the superintendent position.

The second step is posting all open administrative positions. The posting was made the week of May 13. The district began to review applicants for administrator positions the week of May 20. The current administrative team will work with the members of the board of education and the union leadership to schedule the interviews and put together a strong team of administrators for the coming year.

The board of education encourages district residents to become involved in the hiring of the next superintendent by participating in the interview process. Community interviews of superintendent candidates will be held starting at 9 a.m. June 8 at Warren High School. members of the public will be given the opportunity to submit questions to superintendent candidates at the forum.

The district has also posted the position of full time high school and junior high athletic director. The aim in filing this position is to permit the high school and elementary school principals to free up time currently allocated to athletic activities and allocate this time to completing the newly implemented state mandated teacher evaluations.

The administrative team and the board of education will work through the summer to assure that the district is prepared to move forward with our team of teaching staff to provide a high quality of education to district students in a positive environment. We ask for your support and welcome input from students, residents and staff as we address the changes to our district.

Sid Brackenridge on behalf of the Warren Local School District Board of Education.