- Southwood Elementary School
Letter from the Superintendent - December 8, 2022
Dear CCS Community,
For the past three and a half years, I have had the honor and privilege of leading Columbus City Schools, serving the students and families who make up our diverse and wonderfully unique community.
I returned to Columbus in March of 2019 knowing I was taking on a huge task, serving as the superintendent of Ohio’s largest school district, but I also returned knowing that I had more to give this community and I would be among family – my CCS family.
It is where I spent nine wonderful years earlier in my career as an assistant principal and principal. It is where I have called home. It is where I have always felt at home.
So, it is with mixed emotions that I am officially announcing my intention to retire at the end of this school year.
It was not an easy decision, but I knew it was time, and I am leaving with a full heart and an undeniable confidence in the CCS community moving forward.
During our time together, we have accomplished so much.
We navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, making shifts from remote to hybrid to full in-person learning while implementing creative strategies to meet the needs of our students and their families.
We created our Portrait of a Graduate, outlining our hopes, dreams, and aspirations for all CCS students.
We implemented a new Strategic Plan – the Power of One - to guide our work toward a whole-child focus, equitable opportunities, strong learning communities and authentic engagement.
We reimagined summer school to create our unique, community-based Summer Experience. This also led to our Pathway Express initiative, which provides immersive, hands-on lessons at some of the city’s top family-friendly sites during the school year.
We created partnerships and launched programs such as the Columbus Promise, an initiative providing free tuition for CCS seniors to attend Columbus State Community College, and STEAMM Rising alongside The Ohio State University, to ensure STEAMM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and medicine) talent continues to thrive in Columbus.
All this, and so much more! Together, we have paved the way to a bright future for Columbus City Schools.
Your next leader will need the support and partnership you have all given me to continue the work we started. I am confident that with our teachers and staff, City leaders, families, and community partners working together as the Power of One, you will continue on this path to make Columbus City Schools a national model for urban education.
I would like to say thank you. I have grown personally and professionally during my time here, and I thank each of you – every teacher, every staff member, every student and their families – for being a part of that journey. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served the Columbus community alongside so many talented people and I will cherish the relationships I have built here.
To all of our CCS students – you have always been my ‘why.’ I will forever be proud of your passion, resilience, and fortitude. Keep lifting your voices and advocating for a better tomorrow. The future of this community is in great hands with you Leading the Way.
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools