When Greenfield students return to school in the fall for the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, it will be under the leadership of current Rainsboro Elementary Principal Quincey Gray, who was selected by the Greenfield Board of Education at Monday’s meeting to be the school district’s next superintendent.
Gray is in her sixth year as principal at Rainsboro. Before that she was at the Chillicothe City Schools for two years as a principal, and for 13 years before that at Miami Trace as a teacher and then as director of instruction. She received her undergraduate degree from Wilmington College and her master’s from Wright State. Unversity Gray graduated from McClain High School in 1993.
“I am very honored to serve as superintendent of the Greenfield Exempted Village School District,” Gray said. “There are many positive things going on … and I am thrilled to be able to lead our staff as we advance further in … academics, athletics, and the arts.”
As part of the consent agenda, board members accepted Gray’s resignation as principal at the end of the current school year. Also approved was a three-year contract with Gray as superintendent.
“As a McClain graduate, I am humbled by the opportunity with which the board has presented me,” she said. “It’s a great time to be a Tiger.”
According to board president Sandy Free, the choice of Gray “was based on her years of experience and her leadership skills,” as well as her passion for the students.
“We look forward to handing her the reins and letting her move forward with her plans,” Free said.
School board member Charley Roman said Gray would be a “great asset” to the district, adding that he looks forward to working with her.
“This is a great hire for the school district,” Roman said.
Board member Eric Zint said he feels the board was very successful with its hiring of Sexton as interim superintendent and that “great success” was carried over to the search for a new superintendent as the board reached out to the community to hear what they wanted from a superintendent.The result was an “overwhelming response” from staff and citizens to hire “someone local or someone with local ties who understood the community and the district.”
Zint said the board interviewed four “highly qualified candidates that met that description, and I believe we couldn’t have found a better candidate than Mrs. Gray.”
He said he thinks the community will expect Gray “to build on momentum that is already happening within the district. Mrs. Gray speaks about creating a legacy of leadership, and I am excited to watch her vision unfold.”
Board member Marilyn Mitchell said the board put in a lot of time and deliberation on the process to find a new superintendent, and that she feels that the right person was chosen. She expects Gray to “lead our system in making proper decisions about what is going on” and … “to make sure all school business is run fairly and in a timely fashion.”
According to board member Jason Allison, Gray’s knowledge “of the best practices for maximizing student achievement and support of teachers in the district set her above the other excellent candidates.” He added that Gray knows that the most important job as superintendent is that “students are learning and achieving” at their highest levels.
The board also approved a contract with Interim Superintendent Ron Sexton as middle school principal/consultant for next school year. Wendy Callewaert, who is currently the middle school principal, will become Rainsboro’s principal, Sexton said.
Sexton will also help transition Gray to her role as superintendent.
“I feel like Mr. Sexton has done a wonderful job in his very short time as superintendent,” Zint said. “He has an obvious passion for education and children, along with tremendous experience in leadership positions which will be a great asset in our middle school.”
As previously reported, Sexton served nearly four decades in teaching and administrative roles at the Wilmington City Schools before retiring in 2017 after nearly a decade as superintendent. He began as a consultant in January and worked with former Superintendent Joe Wills prior to Wills’ retirement at the end of February.
As to his consultant role in the coming school year, Zint said Sexton would be able to help Gray in her new role as well as help the district in other areas where he has experience, “in particular some of our new building projects.”
The building projects Zint referred to is a new bus garage on North Fifth Street where the district previously purchased property, and the conversion of the old bus garage to an athletic facility.
Sexton has done “an amazing job,” Free said. “We have been so impressed that we decided to hire him as principal/consultant. He will work closely with Mrs. Gray, and we know great things will continue to happen.”
In other business, school board members recognized the bowling teams, robotics team, Quiz Bowl team — which finished sixth in the state at the small schools tournament, and the three elementary principals for awards garnered by their respective schools this year from the state. Each principal also recognized teachers from their schools.
Among the award distinctions were the Schools off Promise Award, which went to 66 schools across the state. Two of those awards were bestowed on Highland County schools, with one of them being Buckskin Elementary, principal Mike Shumate said. The schools had to meet strict criteria to be eligible for the award, like earning no lower than a B on gap closing and value-added components of the state’s report card, as well as student proficiency scores in language arts and mathematics being 80 percent or higher.
Rainsboro and Greenfield elementaries were recognized for their preschool programs maintaining a five-star rating for Step Up To Quality, a rating and improvement system managed by the Ohio Department of Education and Job and Family Services.
In Sexton’s report, he said that on June 7, district staff and will receive training on signs of teen suicide as well as on crisis plans.
Items on the consent agenda as approved by the board were: the resignation of cafeteria worker Lorraine Everhart for retirement purposes; the resignation of Owen O’Connor as girls track assistant; a resolution to allow paper/pencil testing of third graders next school year; the addition of an elementary teacher position at Greenfield Elementary; and a supplemental contract for a middle school robotics adviser.
Angela Shepherd is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.