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Longtime E.H. Greene Principal Announces Retirement

Longtime Sycamore administrator Philip Hackett is retiring after serving 43 years in public education. The Sycamore Board of Education approved his resignation during their meeting on March 16, 2016.

Mr. Hackett has been the principal of Edwin H. Greene Intermediate School since 1995, but his tenure at Sycamore Schools has lasted for more than three decades. He first arrived at Sycamore in 1988 as the principal of Maple Dale Elementary. He led the school for seven years, before moving to E.H. Greene where he was named a National Distinguished Principal by the U.S. Department of Education. Under his leadership, E.H. Greene was selected as an Ohio School to Watch as well as a Blue Ribbon School.

Prior to his arrival at Sycamore, Mr. Hackett served as assistant principal in Milford Schools. He also taught middle school science for six years at both Milford and Cincinnati’s Nativity School.

“I hope that I’ve made someone’s life better,” Hackett said. “I will miss the relationships I have built with the students, the families, and my staff. I really love my Sycamore family, I truly mean that. They have been so good and kind to me over the years. I hope that they understand how much they mean to me.”

Mr. Hackett has been a quintessential staple of E.H. Greene. His smiling face has greeted families at the door each day for more than 20 years as well as in the cafeteria where a portrait mural hangs. His “Can You Hack-ett? Challenge" has encouraged students to be active. His “Phil-isms” grace classrooms throughout Greene reminding teachers to always treat people the way you want to be treated.

“Culture is so important in our schools,” Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent, said. “Mr. Hackett is a master at fostering that positive school culture that makes every person; student, staff and parents, feel important and a contributing member of the E.H. Greene Family. He will leave an incredible legacy at this outstanding school.”

“He is the kind of person who really brings out the best in people through trust and acknowledgment of hard work,” Caroline Mulvaney, E.H. Greene math teacher, said. “It feels good to feel sincerely appreciated. He always looks for the good and helps with the bad. It has been fun to work for him.”

Mr. Hackett has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Xavier University, where he is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Middle Childhood Education Department. He participated in the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and has been a local, state and national presenter on current issues in education. As a representative for the City of Cincinnati, he attended the International Educational Summit in Gifu, Japan where he addressed educators from around the world.

Mr. Hackett plans to enjoy relaxing this summer with his wife, Jane, and their children Grant and Margaux. They’re planning a family vacation and plenty of time on the tennis courts. He will continue teaching at Xavier University and plans on obtaining his real estate license.

His retirement will go into effect on June 29, 2016. The search for the next principal of E.H. Greene Intermediate is underway. As part of the selection process, focus groups will be conducted with staff and parents to assist in developing the profile for the next leader of E.H. Greene. The parent focus group will be held on March 30, 2016, at 7:00 pm in the E.H. Greene media center.