Greenfield names interim superintendent

By Angela Shepherd - For The Times-Gazette

A Wilmington man with nearly four decades of educational experience has been named to temporarily replace superintendent Joe Wills upon his retirement from the Greenfield schools next year.

The board of education accepted Wills’ resignation, effective at the end of February 2019, at its October meeting.

Ron Sexton, with the school board’s majority vote at Wednesday’s meeting, became a “certified consultant” who will work alongside Wills beginning in January. He will be hired as interim superintendent upon Wills’ retirement, treasurer Joe Smith said.

Sexton said he retired last year after 37 years at the Wilmington City Schools. According to his resume, he served as a high school social studies teacher from 1980 to 1994, athletic director from 1994 to 1996, high school principal from 1996 to 2008, and as superintendent from 2008 to 2017. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and earned his master’s degree from the University of Dayton.

Following the meeting, Sexton said he has heard “great things” about the Greenfield schools and staff, adding that he is looking forward to getting underway.

“I’m excited to get started again,” he said.

“I think Ron is going to do a great job for the district,” board president Eric Zint added. “He has a ton of experience and a lot of great energy that will continue to carry our district forward.”

Wills said, “Ron is well known in the area,” adding that he looked forward to working with the experienced administrator “in his role as consultant.”

Wills has been with the Greenfield schools since August of 2013.

According to Smith, the school board will commence its search for a permanent superintendent in January.

Wednesday’s vote to hire Sexton was 3-2, with board members Sandy Free and Marilyn Mitchell voting “no.”

In other business, McClain High School Principal Jason Potts provided an update on seniors not on track to graduate. Excluding Laurel Oaks students and students on an IEP, that leaves 100 students, Potts said. Fifty-eight of them are currently on track to graduate.

Of the 42 not on track, Potts said 16 are already on an “alternate pathway” to meet their requirements, and 26 are currently being retested to try to meet their required points. If any students does not meet their total points through the retesting, alternate pathways will be utilized, he said.

Despite what may seem to be discouraging numbers, Potts told the board more than once, “We are confident we will get them all through” to graduation.

Among the consent agenda items board members approved were the itineraries for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) one-day trips to Dayton in May (elementary) and June (middle school), and the itinerary for the FFA trip to Fairbanks, Alaska in June.

The TAG trips are typically overnighters, but according to Angela Johnson, who heads up the TAG programs, one of the reasons the trips have been changed to one day is that the state is requiring more from her in providing service to students. With “more demands on (her) shoulders” there is less time to plan the longer trips, which she said takes a tremendous amount of time. Also, those trip are not considered service, but enrichment, Johnson said. Stricter restrictions imposed by the United States Department of Transportation on how long each day a bus driver can drive are also a factor, she said.

While she said there will likely be some disappointed students and parents, she is hopeful that more students will be able to go on the day trips since fewer chaperones will be needed. Therefore, there will be more available seats on the commercial buses that are typically utilized for the trips.

Employment recommendations approved were as follows: Jeffrey Findley, certified substitute; Garrett Blair, spring weight room supervisor; Jake Orr-Zody, girls track; Rich Bunner, head baseball coach; and Josh Carroll, baseball assistant.

The next regular meeting of the Greenfield Exempted Village Board of Education is scheduled for Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in the central office boardroom. The board’s organizational meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9 at 6:15 p.m., also in the boardroom.

By Angela Shepherd

For The Times-Gazette