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Board Restructures Administrative Staff

July 15, 2015 
Sycamore Community Schools is reallocating its administrative staff to better support students, staff and families while containing costs. All four elementary schools will now have full-time assistant principals devoted entirely to serving their individual schools in place of the part-time model currently utilized. Edwin H. Greene Intermediate School will now have two full-time assistant principals on staff. The junior high, and high school will maintain their current administrative staffing levels. The cost of the reorganization is offset by elimination of a district office administrative position and savings from attrition. Several appointments have been made to fill vacant administrative positions in addition to the re-organization.

An analysis of the current model found that the demands on administrators have changed greatly over the last several years. Sharing assistant principals between buildings was no longer a workable model. Reorganizing the administrative structure will allow the district to better meet the needs of students and staff at the building level.

“Kids and staff deserve responsiveness that is a staple of Sycamore Community Schools,” Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent, said. “This model will provide that enhanced responsiveness while meeting the changing demands of the job.”

At a July 15 meeting, the Sycamore Community Schools Board of Education approved the recommendation of Forsthoefel, to name Ann Marie Reinke as Maple Dale Elementary assistant principal; Amy Debelak as Montgomery Elementary assistant principal; and Jessica Ralston as Symmes Elementary assistant principal. The appointments support the reorganization and replacement of a vacant elementary assistant principal position. All will assume their new positions on Aug. 1.

Reinke is moving to Maple Dale Elementary from the district’s administrative office, where she has served as assistant director of academic affairs since 2012. Prior to that, she held the position of assistant director curriculum and instruction for four years. She will be returning to Maple Dale, where she began her career in education as a third-grade teacher and also previously served as assistant principal. “Reinke has served the district exceptionally well in her role at the district office”, Forsthoefel said. She has a passion for reconnecting with students and families at the building level.

Debelak has served as an intervention specialist at Montgomery Elementary since 2012. Amy also taught at Maple Dale Elementary for five years. She has participated in the district-sponsored Teacher’s Leadership Academy for eight years, and is an active member of several leadership committees, including the Teacher Evaluation Committee. Debelak earned her master’s in special education from Xavier University. She is currently working on her doctorate in special education from the University of Cincinnati.

Ralston is transitioning from her position as an intervention specialist at Symmes Elementary, to assistant principal. She joined Symmes Elementary as a special education teacher in 2008. Ralston has served as a mentor to students and assumed various teacher leadership roles at Symmes.

Both Debelak and Ralston’s appointments, “show the district’s commitment to grow leaders from within,” Forsthoefel said.

In addition to the new appointments, two current assistant principals will transition into full-time positions at specific buildings. Monya Jones, who previously split assistant principal duties between Montgomery and Blue Ash elementary schools, will now serve full-time as assistant principal of Blue Ash Elementary; Marilee Tanner, who previously served both Edwin H. Greene and Aves Academy, will now be solely dedicated to 800 students at Greene Intermediate. She will work alongside current Assistant Principal Rebecca Miller.

The Board of Education previously announced the appointment of Damon Davis, the former assistant principal at Mercer Elementary in Forest Hills Local Schools, to fill a vacant assistant principal position at Sycamore Junior High School. Davis will join current Assistant Principal Lisa Zelvy. Also new to the district this school year is Principal Traci Rea. Rea comes to Sycamore from Northwest Local Schools, where she served as assistant superintendent. She has over 20 years of experience in education, as a teacher and administrator. Rea is currently working on her doctorate at Miami University.

Sycamore Community Schools is also thrilled to welcome two assistant principals at Sycamore High School. Derek Richardson and Ashley Warren will fill positions vacated by the retirements of Renee Hevia and Karen Bare. Richardson and Warren will join current Assistant Principal Dr. Yejide Mack and Principal Doug Mader to lead the 1,600 students at Sycamore High.

Richardson comes to Sycamore from Middletown High School, where he was associate principal for seven years. During his time there, he helped create Middletown's Freshman Academy. Richardson also served as athletic director for Shroder High School in Cincinnati, and has more than 20 years of experience in education. He received his Master's from the University of Cincinnati.

Warren joins Sycamore High School from Kings Local School District. She has been an AP physics and chemistry teacher at Kings High School since 2012. Prior to that, she taught at Monroe High School. Warren received her master's of education from Miami University.

To offset the increased building administrative staffing, the position of assistant director of academic affairs will be eliminated. The full-time assistant principals will assume some of those responsibilities, bringing curriculum support closer to the building level and staff. In addition, the program at Aves Academy will be overseen by the current high school administrative team. Aves Academy is now in its seventh year and is stable and running smoothly with more than 150 students served.