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Blue Ash Elementary Principal to Retire

Longtime educator and administrator Leslie Combs, a fixture in the Sycamore school community, is set to retire at the conclusion of the 2023-24 academic year, marking the end of a remarkable 35-year career in education.

"I have been blessed with a long and beautiful career, and I have never felt prouder or more honored than in my role as the principal at Blue Ash Elementary," shared Combs. "From the moment I began here, it felt like home."

Reflecting on her journey, Combs expressed gratitude for a career that traversed three states and five school districts. Combs spent 15 years teaching before joining Sycamore, where she served as the assistant principal at Edwin H Greene School from 2005 to 2012. For the past 11 years, she has been at the helm of Blue Ash Elementary, witnessing increased academic achievement reflected in the Ohio State Report Card. Notably, Blue Ash Elementary earned recognition as the #7 Best Elementary School in Ohio by the Niche Report, showcasing the school's commitment to excellence.

“Leslie epitomizes the kind of leader we all aspire to become. Her commitment to delivering candid feedback is exemplary, and her departure will undoubtedly create a substantial void in our leadership team,” said Chad Lewis, superintendent. “The unmatched combination of her positivity, passion, and dedication to children sets a standard that is truly unparalleled."

Under Mrs. Combs' leadership, Blue Ash Elementary excelled not only academically but also in fostering a positive school culture. The school received the 2021 Silver PBIS Award from the Ohio PBIS Network, recognizing its exemplary implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

"Our children exhibit high levels of responsibility and kindness, and I've never seen anything like it. I feel optimistic about the impact these children will have on our world," said Combs.

Looking ahead to retirement, Mrs. Combs plans to travel with her husband Jeff, who recently retired from teaching special education in Lakota Schools. Additionally, she looks forward to spending quality time with family members residing in different parts of the country.

As Mrs. Combs prepares to step into retirement, the district will begin an extensive principal search process in January. This process will involve engaging staff and the community through feedback sessions.