Return to Headlines

Sycamore Names New Superintendent

The Sycamore Board of Education has approved Chad Lewis as the new superintendent of schools. Mr. Lewis will replace retiring Frank Forsthoefel who has served the school district as superintendent for the past six years. 

Lewis has 21 years of experience in education. He has dedicated the last nine years of his career to serving the students, families, and staff at Sycamore Community Schools. Lewis became Assistant Superintendent in 2020, overseeing both business and student operations for the district. 

“Mr. Lewis clearly understands the culture that makes Sycamore School so special,” said Forsthoefel. “He is a focused, results-driven leader who will uphold the excellence that is Sycamore. He has my utmost trust to lead this district into the future.”

Through his time at Sycamore, Mr. Lewis has developed a diverse background in student-focused leadership, personnel management, business and finance, and staff development. 

In his Business Operations role, Lewis prioritized a focus on efficient and effective business operations, reducing the operational expenditures of the district by over $1 million annually. He implemented energy savings strategies resulting in a cumulative savings of approximately $12.5 million. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Business Operations Manager of the Year by the Ohio Association of School Business Officials.

Lewis played an integral role in the passage of the $127.5 million bond issue as well as the development and continued implementation of the district’s Master Facility Plan to rebuild and renovate our schools. He is currently overseeing all of the Master Facility Plan work with SHP as construction gets underway. Lewis previously supervised the construction of Maple Dale Elementary as well as the new Board of Education office on Hagewa Drive. 

His personnel experience includes leading the hiring processes for building administrators, serving as the district’s Title IX Officer, collaborating with support service department supervisors, actively participating in collective bargaining and mediation with classified employees. 

In his role as Director of Student Operations, Lewis recreated the role of expulsion hearing officer to mentor students and engage families, successfully implementing intervention strategies to remove barriers for students. He also collaborated with district and building leaders to design and implement new processes for student absence intervention planning. Lewis served as the homeless liaison for the district, assisting families that are in transition or crisis. Lewis also managed the student enrollment process, collaborating with our registration office to create a smoother process for new families and students.  

Prior to joining Sycamore, he served in several administrative roles at Fairfield City Schools including assistant superintendent of business, and assistant principal.  He has held multiple other positions in education throughout his career that include teaching at Princeton City Schools and coaching. 

The Board approved a three-year $160,000 contract effective August 1 for Lewis at a special meeting on March 31. For more information on the selection process, click here.

“We had a robust pool of highly qualified candidates and we selected the best individual to take our district to the next stage of growth and achievement,” said Melissa Weiss, Board President. “Mr. Lewis’s ability to collaborate and lead our district towards a shared vision and mission will be vital as we move forward with the district’s strategic plan. He encompasses the values and characteristics that we know are important to our community.” 

As part of the interview process, Lewis shared his vision for a student-centered culture where academic achievement, diversity and inclusion, mental health, and fiscal responsibility are top priorities for the district. 

“My passion for education and kids is my ‘why’ as I step into this new role,” said Lewis. “I want to develop a culture that is welcoming and supportive of the whole child. We can help every child, no matter where they are, reach their full potential through both innovative and student-centered, research-based instructional practices.”

Lewis is looking forward to collaborating with staff, families, and the community as the district rolls out its new strategic plan. He plans to hold active listening sessions with students, staff, and families to better understand the current needs and concerns of stakeholders.

“I will take an active role in experiencing what is going on in each building,” said Lewis. “We have great things going here in Sycamore and I’m excited to lead and inspire our leadership and staff to consistently seek best practices and take us to the next level.”