It was a night for saying hello and goodbye at the last official South-Western City School Board of Education meeting of the 2007 year.
When incoming superintendent Bill Wise takes up the position at the beginning of 2008, a new face will be taking his vacated deputy superintendent spot.
At the Dec. 10 meeting, the board unanimously voted to hire Philip Warner as the district’s new deputy superintendent beginning Jan 14.
"When looking for a deputy superintendent, we searched for a candidate with proven decision making abilities to help our district remain focused on increasing academic achievement as we continue to provide a quality education for all of our students," Wise stated in a press release. "Philip Warner has been instrumental in improving student achievement in Wilmington Schools and I believe his knowledge and leadership skills will help our district continue to move forward academically."
Warner was previously a superintendent in the Wilmington City School District in Clinton County. In his 34 years as an educator, he has been a superintendent for 17 of those years.
"He has a proven track record as a superintendent," said SWCS Board President Jim Lester. "The depth of his experience and training will be a strong addition to our current administrative leadership team."
Under the direction of Warner, the Wilmington City School District improved its Performance Index Score significantly and upgraded its technology enhancements to include a virtual learning academy. They also implemented an all-day/everyday kindergarten.
The SWCS board said farewell to Superintendent Dr. R. Kirk Hamilton, Board President Jim Lester and Vice President Gary Leasure. Wise, Randy Reisling and Mindy Garverick will be filling those vacated seats, respectively.
After 10 years as superintendent of the SWCS district, Hamilton resigned his post earlier this year to become deputy executive director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA).
"It’s been 10 great years," Hamilton said. "South-Western City Schools is the only place I wanted to be a superintendent."
Also leaving after 10 years and nine months as a board member, some being president, Lester has plans for his future.
"I plan on taking it easy for a while," he said. "Maybe do a little traveling with my wife."
He said there have been good times and bad times with his board experiences but it has been a great experience.
"It’s been a good 10 years and I don’t regret my time here. It’s been fun."
Leasure has been a board member for 12 years.
In other news
Every year, the district gives out School Bell Awards for employees who have gone "above and beyond the call of duty." These employees are recognized for surpassing their job responsibilities after being nominated based on letters of commendation written by members of the community. Here is a list of those honored at the meeting.
From J.C. Sommer Elementary School: Mary Dean, Kevin Laffin, Kathie Lewis, Becky Lykins, Pam Lippert, Ken Please and Jackie Rutan.
From Central Crossing High School: special education teachers Erin Henschen and Amy Cutler Martin were nominated by Sherry Williamson.
From Galloway Ridge Intermediate School: fifth grade teachers Kelly Newman and Anne Smith were recognized.
Bus driver Arlene Thompson and bus aide Anita Chesshir were also recognized.
Each recipient is eligible for the district’s Above and Beyond and Call of Duty Award presented at the end of each year.