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Remembering Former Superintendent Dr. John Patzwald

Forest Hills School District is mourning the passing of former superintendent Dr. John Patzwald. From 1992-2010, Dr. Patzwald led FHSD with distinction and is remembered for both his commitment to educating students and his friendly, kind-hearted approach to leadership.

"Dr. Patzwald was a great leader, mentor to many and friend to all," said Phil Sinkovich, who worked with Dr. Patzwald in Central Office. "His highest priority was always to the students of the district. There were not many activities, sporting events or fine arts programs that he missed."

Photo of Dr. John Patzwald in front of bookshelves"Dr. Patzwald was a gentle man with a kind heart," said Susan Monk, who was administrative assistant to the superintendent. "He always started a conversation with, "How are you and how is your family?" He was such a personable and humble man."

Copied below is a message about Dr. Patzwald that was shared with FHSD staff.

Good Afternoon Staff,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to share with our community the passing of Dr. John Patzwald. For 18 years, Dr. Patzwald provided visionary and steady-handed leadership to Forest Hills Local School District. Dr. P, as he was affectionately known, left a lasting legacy that we are still benefiting from today.

FHSD, under the guidance of Dr. Patzwald, received the State of Ohio’s highest rating of “Excellent” for seven consecutive years. The motto he developed and lived by, “Success for All Students,” is still a guiding principle of our district to this day.

In addition to his excellence as an educator and leader of this school district, Dr. Patzwald was loved and respected for his kind heart. We’ve heard from people who worked with him that Dr. Patzwald started every conversation by asking, “how are you and how is your family?”

Dr. Patzwald had an immeasurable impact on so many members of the Forest Hills community. After retiring from the superintendent position, Dr. Patzwald remained in Forest Hills with his wife and children. He was an active member of this community, constantly striving to make Anderson Township a better place to live.

Dr. Patzwald leaves behind his wife, Rea, and sons David, John and Ryan. Please keep Dr. Patzwald’s family and friends in your thoughts during this difficult time. He will be greatly missed.

While funeral services will be private, anyone wishing to pay their respects is invited to make a donation in memory of Dr. Patzwald to the Forest Hills Foundation for Education. You can click here to visit the donation page and, at the bottom of the form, there is an option to dedicate the gift in memory of an individual. Messages through the donation form will be shared with the Patzwald family.


Larry R. Hook, Superintendent

Dr. Patzwald is pictured with members of the district leadership team and Board of Education.

Dr. John Patzwald's photo appears on the walls of Central Office