Longtime Sycamore administrator Ron Brooks is retiring after serving 44 years in public education. The Sycamore Board of Education approved his resignation during their meeting on Feb. 17, 2016.
Mr. Brooks has served as principal at Maple Dale Elementary since 2002, but his legacy in Sycamore expands across more than four decades. In his time here, he has served as a teacher, an assistant principal, and principal at five different schools.
“Mr. Brooks exemplifies what it means to be a true servant leader,” said Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent. “He motivates and empowers his team to focus on student-first decisions. This approach has elevated Maple Dale to one of highest performing elementary schools in the state of Ohio. He leaves a legacy of excellence with his school community.”
Mr. Brooks began his career in 1972, teaching science, health, and physical education in Cincinnati Public Schools. In 1974, his extensive career with Sycamore Community Schools started at Montgomery Elementary. He transitioned into an administrative career in 1979 when he moved to E.H. Greene Intermediate as an assistant principal, later shifting to Montgomery Elementary and Sycamore Junior High in the same role. Mr. Brooks left the district for eight years, but returned to Sycamore in 1995. He became principal at Symmes Elementary in 1997 before moving to his current position at Maple Dale.
“I’ve enjoyed my journey,” said Mr. Brooks. “The hardest thing now is realizing how quickly it has all gone by. If I had to do it all again, would I do it differently? The answer is no. I have loved every school I have ever been a part of. Every child is special.”
During his years with Sycamore, Mr. Brooks has served under six different superintendents. When he started in 1974, there were only three elementary schools, and Sycamore High School had just opened its doors for the first time.
After 44 years, Mr. Brooks is looking forward to what the future will hold. He plans to remain a educational resource for members of the Sycamore community, as well as travel and spend time with his family.
“Mr. Brooks is an amazing leader that empowers his staff to reach their highest potential,” said Cheryl Cooks, Maple Dale Elementary teacher. “His love, humor, rapport, and genuine care for his staff, and insightfulness about the importance of relationships will always resonate in our hearts. He will truly be missed.”
Mr. Brooks' retirement will be effective on June 29, 2016. The search process for the next principal of Maple Dale Elementary is underway. As seamless transitions and succession planning are critically important to Sycamore, the district is currently focusing its search internally.
“We are committed to moving this process forward in an expeditious fashion toward appointment of the next principal by the end of March,” Forsthoefel said.