Two men who took different routes to get there have been named as the latest new administrators in the Bright Local School District.
Brian Ruckel, a 1986 graduate of nearby Eastern Brown High School, is the new high school principal and Randy Drewyor, originally from the Toledo area, is the new treasurer.
Ruckel has 25 years experience as teacher, coach and administrator and while Drewyor has never held a full-time position in a school district, he has a deep education background.
After starting out as a teacher and coach, Ruckel was an assistant athletic director at Wilmington, an assistant and high school principal at Peebles and the superintendent for seven years at Blanchester. He said he has also worked as an education consultant for a Fortune 500 company.
He said he was drawn to the principal’s job at Whiteoak High School because it’s close to home.
“I’ve always been familiar with the Bright Local School District and some of the people there. I know they stand for good, quality academics,” Ruckel said. “It’s a place that’s very much what I was used to growing up.”
He said his primary goal at Whiteoak is, “To make huge academic strides on the Ohio Report Card system.”
That will be accomplished, Ruckel said, by setting high expectations for the students and staff, following through on an academic plan, and creating a positive climate for the students and staff.
He said changes in the how the school operates will be minimal.
“It will be mostly academics, as far as driving the students and staff forward,” Ruckel said. “Specifically, we will be driven to improve our test scores.”
Drewyor worked in the paper industry for 33 years before he decided it was time for a career change. He worked in northeast Pennsylvania for five years then moved to Chillicothe and worked at Mead Paper for 28 years.
During that time he also served for 20 years as an adjunct professor at Ohio University-Chillicothe, was on the Chillicothe City Schools Board of Education for nine years and served on the Pickaway, Ross Career and Technical Center Board.
“I really had a passion about K-12 education so I got my treasurer’s license and decided that’s what I wanted to do when I grow up,” Drewyor joked.
He said that while this will be first job as a school treasurer, he has worked in the Chillicothe treasurer’s office.
“I was looking for a position that was a good fit and what drew me here was the enthusiasm of the superintendent and the school board,” Drewyor said.
He said he’s not looking to make a lot of changes either.
“Bright Local has been managed well financially, so my goal is to keep that going, bring in some more long-term planning, and do some community outreach,” he said. “People don’t go to school board meetings, so I want to go to the people so they know what’s happening financially in the district.
“I’m just excited to be here. There’s a lot of challenges, but I think the people of the district seem up to the challenge and I’m looking forward to working with the administration and board during my time here.”
Earlier this summer Bright Local hired 1977 Hillsboro High School graduate Mike Bick as its new elementary principal.
The first day of school for Bright Local students is Aug. 17.
“I’m glad to have these new guys aboard. I think they’re going to be an asset to the school,” Bright Local Superintendent Ted Downing said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.