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Noble Local’s Leffingwell named superintendent of year

His name may be on the plaque, but it’s an award Dan Leffingwell shares with the entire “family” of the Noble Local School District.

Leffingwell, who has been at the forefront of taking the district to new heights, has been named the 2022 Ohio Superintendent of the Year by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA).

“I am both surprised and excited to receive this award and honor,” said Leffingwell upon learning of the recognition. “This is truly not something I ever considered as a possibility.

“Many thanks to BASA for selecting me as the 2022 Ohio Superintendent of the Year,” he continued. “I am proud to accept on behalf of our entire Noble Local staff, student body and community. I am confident that our collective work will continue and positively represent your organization moving forward.”

Leffingwell quickly deflected the praise to the “team”.

“Any award like this is certainly attributed to the work of an entire team over a number of years,” he said. “Our Noble Local staff has worked so hard to transform education and offerings for our students and without their efforts, this award would not be possible.

“During my 33 years in education,” Leffingwell continued, “I have been blessed to work with so many great educators and people who always put students first. Because of that, we have been able to provide support and opportunities necessary for ALL students to be successful.

“At Noble Local we are so fortunate to have a Board of Education that comes to the ‘table’ each day without any personal agenda other than serving our primary customers (students) to the best of their ability,” he continued. “They have been so supportive of not only thinking ‘outside the box’, but actually throwing the whole ‘box’ away in an effort to align our educational offerings to fit the future needs of our students. I am so grateful for their support and shared vision for the future of the Noble Local School District.

“Any success I have personally and professionally is a direct result of the support and assistance I receive from our Noble Local staff, a knowledgeable and passionate peer network and my family which has been 100 percent supportive and encouraging throughout my career. I am so appreciative!”

Leffingwell was nominated for the award by Dr. Jim Mahoney, a long-time educator who is currently Assistant Professor of Practice for Ohio University.

“Receiving this award is very special,” noted Leffingwell. “It’s even more special that I was nominated by Dr. Jim Mahoney – a friend and mentor whom I greatly admire and respect. Dr. Mahoney has long been an inspiration and incredible resource when considering educational best practices to help support the transformation of traditional schools.”

During his time at Noble Local, he has created an atmosphere of continuous improvement within the district while increasing opportunities for students.

As a result, the Noble Local School District has worked tirelessly to create hope, access and opportunities for ALL students in this rural district (289 square miles without a stoplight). The district is now a branch campus for Zane State College, offering in excess of 125 semester hours of college credit on their Sarahsville campus; PreK offerings have been expanded serving 19 students in 2013 to now serving 126; and ALL students have access and are engaged in robust STEM activities preparing them for a career of their choice. The Noble Local School District received the Ohio Department of Education’s STEM designation and is the only school in the region to have done so.

During his nearly 33-year career in education, Leffingwell has served as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent, providing an experienced perspective on district operations. He is an active member of CORAS (Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools), Ohio Appalachian Collaborative, served as Assistant Director of OSRC (Ohio Small Rural Collaborative), JASON Learning STEM consortium, SOAR collaborative and the Noble County CARES program (the county’s addiction task force).

Prior to coming to Noble Local, he spent 15 years (1998-2013) as high school principal at Warren Local.

In the athletic realm, he had a variety of teaching and coaching experiences beginning in 1988, first serving two years as assistant men’s basketball coach and head golf coach at Marietta College. He then was named head boys’ basketball coach at Warren Local in 1994 and during his five years, the team was district runner-up twice. He was named SEOAL Coach of the Year twice and was the Southeast District Coach of the Year in 1998.

He served on the Southeast District Athletic Board from 2006-2013 and has served on the East District Athletic Board since 2013, including a term as president. Leffingwell then spent three years on the OHSAA Board of Control, serving as president from Aug 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020.

He also previously served on the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Executive Board.

Leffingwell graduated from Marietta College with a BA in English in 1988 and earned his MA in Educational Leadership from Ohio University in 2000. Dan and his wife Debbie have been married for 32 years and have two children – Darci (30) and Dylan (27).

Leffingwell will be honored at the 2022 BASA Fall Conference scheduled for Oct. 4-5 at the Hilton Columbus/Polaris and he will be placed in competition for the AASA National Superintendent of the Year.

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