January Blog: Reflecting on the Past and Looking to the Future
In conversations with Forest Hills students across the district, one extremely important question seems to come up time and time again: “When are we having a snow day?” Hopefully, we continue to enjoy moderate temperatures and don’t need to cancel school for inclement weather, as much as the students may hope so! For now, it’s business as usual.
The return from winter break marked the half-way point of the academic year. It’s the perfect time for us to pause and reflect on the outstanding work that has taken place thus far, while we continue to hone in on a clear vision for the future.
In the past month alone, several of our schools and staff members have received nominations for prestigious, state-wide awards. The Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA) nominated Nagel Middle School, Sherwood Elementary School, and Summit Elementary as candidates for the “Hall of Fame” schools program! This nomination reflects the incredible impact these schools have on students and the community. Wilson, Maddux, Ayer, and Mercer have previously received this designation. OAESA has also nominated Ayer Assistant Principal Heather Hoelle has been nominated for the Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year award. We believe she is more than deserving of this recognition. In addition, Sherwood Principal Dan Hamilton, Principal Michele Sulfsted at Summit, and Mercer Principal Jodi Davidson have all nominated for the Ohio National Principal of the Year award. Winners will be announced this spring and we are proud to have these amazing individuals working at Forest Hills. In my book, they are all winners already and we are grateful for their service to our students, our staff and our community. All of these honors and recognitions are a direct reflection of the excellent quality of education that defines our district.
I am proud of the experience we are able to provide for our students at a great value to our supportive community. And I must emphasize the importance of a supportive community! This month, the district began collections on the 4.7-mill operating levy approved by voters in November. Passage of this levy, which directly supports classroom instruction, enables us to better protect the high-quality education we provide in our schools every day.
Because of community support, you will no longer see a deficit in fiscal year 2023 in the the five-year-forecast, which Forest Hills’ treasurer and CFO, Alana Cropper, submitted to the state. We must keep in mind, though, that our school district continues to receive significantly less funding from the state of Ohio than other districts, and the state’s school funding model does not account for inflation. This is why the district will remain highly focused on pro-active measures to implement efficiencies that conserve resources.
In addition to prioritizing the continuation of our role as good stewards of the public dollar, transparent and timely communication remains one of my top priorities. I encourage you to continue to read my blog for district updates, subscribe to the district e-newsletter, follow us on social media, and keep an eye on your mailbox for our quarterly print mailers. In addition, I’d like to talk with you in-person during the next “Coffee with the Superintendent” event on February 11 from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. at Panera Bread, located at 7711 Beechmont Avenue. I hope to see you there!
I look forward to our students and staff having a successful 2020!