(Posted July 16, 2014)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison-Plains school board didn’t take long to choose the district’s new superintendent.
On July 15, the board tapped Tim Dettwiller, the district’s treasurer and chief financial officer, to replace Bernie Hall, who submitted his resignation in June. Hall’s last day is Aug. 1. Dettwiller takes over as superintendent on Aug. 12. The board granted Dettwiller a three-year contract with an annual salary of $120,000 per year.
Board president Kelly Cooley said the board received three applications for the superintendent job. Dettwiller stood out as the clear choice, she said.
“He has a well laid out plan to bring this district back to academic excellence,” she said.
Dettwiller played a significant role in creating Madison-Plains’ improvement plan. Implemented last fall, the plan is a process that defines specific strategies and challenges for staff to elevate expectations of students and their performance.
Dettwiller also wrote the district’s 10-year financial plan, something unique to Madison-Plains that surpasses the state’s requirement of a five-year financial forecast. Dettwiller identified cost-saving measures including an early retirement incentive plan and a cap on insurance contributions. He has received awards from the State Auditor’s Office for his financial reporting. He is co-founder of the Madison-Plains Advisory Council, a community group.
“This is a great opportunity for myself and for my family,” Dettwiller said. “This district is truly on the cusp of something great.”
He emphasizes the need for a strong three-way partnership among students, parents and staff. One of his goals is to reverse the district’s trend of declining enrollment by creating a marketable school system with great academics, athletics and music programs.
“If we have that, they’ll come back to us,” he said.
The district will benefit from Dettwiller’s knowledge of the district’s past and his role in plotting improvements and securing finances for the district’s future, said board member Ken Morlock.
“He’s got a good vision of what we want to accomplish and how to get there,” said board member David Hunter.
Board member Bob Butz said he worked with Dettwiller on various school committees over the years. Based on that experience, he said, “If this board’s goal is excellence, Tim is the man for the job.”
Detwiller holds a master’s degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management. He has served Madison-Plains twice as treasurer, first from 2000 to 2001 and again since 2010. He also was treasurer of Springboro Community Schools and a deputy auditor for the state of Ohio for over a decade.
Dettwiller is a former three-time wrestling national qualifier for Wilmington College. He spent over 15 years as a wrestling coach, during which time he coached three state qualifiers and six league champions as varsity coach for McClain.
Dettwiller and his wife, Robin, a teacher at Madison-Plains, have four children and one grandchild. They live in Mount Sterling.
Search for new treasurer and new high school principal
Dettwiller’s move to the superintendent position will leave the board with another vacancy to fill. On July 16, they posted the job opening for the treasurer’s position. They plan to have a new treasurer in place by Aug. 12 when Dettwiller becomes superintendent. Should they need more time, the Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center (ESC) will provide interim help. The ESC also will provide assistance with superintendent tasks in the gap between Hall’s last day and Dettwiller’s first day.
The board also is close to naming a new high school principal. Chris Clark resigned in June. The board has received numerous applications for the opening, Cooley said. Interviews start this week. The board aims to make its selection by July 24.
The school board’s next regular meeting is Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. in the board meeting room in the elementary building.