By Linda Dillman
While the faces are familiar, the positions are changing for administrators in buildings throughout the Hamilton Local School District.
Here is a rundown of the changes according to information from the Hamilton Local Schools’ website:
•Dr. Josh Conley, who guided the elementary school first under current Superintendent Mark Tyler and then as principal himself, is moving up a few grades to the high school, where he will start serving as principal on Aug. 1.
His district tenure started in 2002 as a student teacher and middle school basketball coach. In 2003 he was hired as an intermediate school instructor and continued coaching at the middle and high school level. He became the elementary school assistant principal in 2007 and later earned his doctorate from the Concordia University of Chicago.
Tyler said Conley has proven himself to be an instructional leader with great knowledge in teaching and learning and has a clear understanding of how to balance building operations and works in constructive ways to help make district-wide improvements.
“I would like to sincerely thank the community for their support and trust, as they have been very good to me during my almost 20 years within the Hamilton Local School District,” said Conley. “I assure you that I will continue to work tirelessly toward instilling high expectations for all. I am truly excited to join the Hamilton Township High School team and look forward to the many things I’m confident we can accomplish by working together.”
Conley’s second in command is Matthew O’Hearn, who previously served as the high school’s dean of students. He assumes full responsibilities as assistant principal on Aug. 1, and started out with the district as a high school social studies teacher in 2007.
•O’Hearn was an AP Government teacher, Kids Voting Liaison, social studies co-chair and head high school cross country coach since 2014. He has also served as a varsity assistant track and field coach since 2009.
“Mr. O’Hearn has a charismatic and calming personality that meshes well with students throughout the district,” Tyler said. “I have every confidence that Matt will excel in this position, as it is easy to trust and believe in him and follow his leadership.”
O’Hearn said he can’t wait to hit the ground running when it comes to establishing positive relationships, working collaboratively with others, and building leaders amongst the staff and students.
“What a great opportunity to work with the best administrators, staff, students, coaches, secretaries, custodians and cooks in central Ohio,” said O’Hearn, who earned a master of education from The American College of Education in 2014.
•Sara Tadak is moving from the intermediate school to the principal’s position at Hamilton Elementary School. She began her career in 2002 as a first-grade teacher at the elementary building. Tadak then transitioned to the intermediate school where she taught fourth grade reading and fifth grade writing while earning her master of education in Educational Leadership from Ashland University.
“During my time at Hamilton Local School District, I have witnessed tremendous growth and progress in the district, as well as the construction of all four buildings,” said Tadak, who became the assistant principal of the intermediate school in 2015. “I am excited and honored to have the privilege to serve as principal of Hamilton Elementary School.”
Tyler called Tadak an instructional leader who has a great understanding of curriculum, embraces data driven decision making and has a passion and confidence toward elementary academics.
•Jessica Wills, a math teacher and administrative support at the high school was named the new assistant principal for Hamilton Intermediate School.
“Mrs. Wills has a phenomenal rapport with students and their parents and guardians,” said Tyler. “I have every confidence that Jessica will excel in this position, and I am pleased to add an educator with her passion to the administrative team.”
Wills was hired in 2009 and served at the middle school as the math department chair. In 2017, she transitioned to the high school as a math instructor and also worked as administrative support. In addition to these responsibilities, she was a vertical team member and a new teacher mentor.
Outside of the classroom, she was the middle school track and field head coach from 2010 to 2019, served as the athletic department event manager and was the Class of 2021 advisor.
Wills earned a master of education from The Ohio State University in 2010 and a Master of Education with a focus on school leadership from Concordia University Chicago in 2016.
“I am very excited to take on this leadership role in our district,” said Wills. “I look forward to working with our staff and community to help all of our students achieve academic and social growth.”