Board praises retiring superintendent
Superintendent Kimberley Miller-Smith "will be a tough act to follow" in the opinion of Canal Winchester Board of Education Vice President Brian Niceswanger.
Miller-Smith surprised the board at its July 9 meeting when she announced she would retire at the end of December. She has said little publicly about the reasons behind her decision.
In a letter read to the board by district Treasurer Joyce Boyer, she praised the "caring community members and families, accomplished students and outstanding employees" with whom she has worked in Canal Winchester.
"I can proudly say that my years in Canal Winchester were the most fruitful years of my career," Miller-Smith said. "The district has provided great opportunities for me to grow in the profession that I love and in which I so deeply believe."
"Kim came to our district with passion, commitment, and a dedication that you don't see very often anymore," board President Debra Waites said. "Instructionally, she has led us to the highest ratings given to any district. She has worked tirelessly to ensure our students received the best education we could possibly offer them."
Waites said Miller-Smith was always available to answer her questions and provide her with information and support to make difficult decisions to move the district forward.
"I'm happy for Kim - she's done a great job for the CW School District," he said. "Excellent and excellent with distinction ratings from the ODE (Ohio Department of Education) are a direct reflection on her efforts to advance the curriculum and success rates of our students.
"She's also made many tough decisions in order to keep the district's finances in order in the face of declining state education dollars and the reduction in last year's successful levy," Niceswanger added. "She is definitely going to be a tough act to follow."
The board plans to work with the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) to help with the search for a new superintendent, Waites said.
"We will decide as a board what qualities as well as qualifications we are looking for in our next superintendent," she said.
Once those qualifications are established, board members hope a number of candidates apply for the job so they can narrow the field for interviews and perhaps have a new superintendent in place before Miller-Smith says her final farewell at the end of the year.
Miller-Smith earned a bachelor's degree from Miami University and master's and doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University. She started her career of more than 30 years as a special education teacher with Canal Winchester schools. She returned later to the district as high school assistant principal in 2000.
Prior to being named superintendent in Canal Winchester, she served as assistant superintendent of the Southwest Licking Local School District. She also worked for Belpre City Schools, Berne Union Local Schools, Centennial High School and Dublin Scioto High School.