When the 2019-20 school year begins Tuesday, Aug. 13, the Bexley City Schools will not only welcome students, but also 12 new teachers and four new administrators.

"The 2019-20 school year is going to be one of tremendous growth for Bexley Schools," Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller said in an email. "Because of the talented and dedicated team of professionals who work in our schools, the supportive community and a clear and focused vision, students will be engaged, equipped and empowered through learning experiences, extracurricular involvement and meaningful relationships. Great things are happening in Bexley Schools."

The four new administrators are Jill Abraham, chief academic officer for the district; Melissa Klosterman-Lando, Montrose Elementary School principal; Craig McMillen, Bexley High School assistant principal; and Tyler Trill, a new public information officer, to oversee internal and external communications.

Steve Shapiro also has been tapped for a specific role this fall as coordinator of experiential learning.

As chief academic officer, Abraham is responsible for supervising all principals and schools, curriculum development, professional development for staff, special education, student assistance and intervention, pursuing grants and maintaining partnerships with businesses.

"I am excited about the start of a new school year and my new role in Bexley schools," Abraham said."I look forward to supporting Bexley teachers and principals in creating meaningful experiences for our learners. Collectively, we will work to equip our students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to support them now and in their future endeavors."

"I believe in empowering children academically, physically, socially and emotionally while ensuring happiness and positive mental health are foundational parts of their life," Klosterman-Lando said. "A significant factor in student success is collaboration and connectedness among staff, students and families, and I look forward to building relationships that foster growth for our students."

"My work as assistant principal will impact students directly through supporting them in their educational and life journeys," McMillen said. "Exposing students to all pathways to success and encouraging them to be the best version of themselves each day is a mission that drives me each day."

As coordinator of experiential learning, Shapiro will work with local businesses and organizations to provide internships and real-world learning experiences for students at all grade levels.

"We are going to build on the excellent education the district already provides by creating new opportunities for our students to have engaging, empowering high-impact experiences involving community service, leadership development, career readiness, cross-cultural learning, professional networking and much more," Shapiro said.

Among the new programs in the 2019-20 school year is the district's participation in a citywide initiative, "Bexley Be Well: A Community Conversation about Wellness," which will take place at various locations this fall.

In addition to the Bexley City School District, Bexley Be Well includes the participation of the city, the Bexley Public Library, Nationwide Children's Hospital, the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce, Columbus School for Girls, Capital University, Gramercy Books and Bexley Recreation and Parks Preschool.

The initiative will kick off with a screening of the documentary "Angst," which explores teen anxiety, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at Bexley High School's Schottenstein Theater, 326 S. Cassingham Road. A panel discussion with experts in the mental health field will follow the film.

Also this fall, Miller said the district will work to raise public awareness of its 9-mill operating levy that will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

If approved by voters, the levy would generate about $5 million per year for the district and cost residents approximately $315 annually per $100,000 of home market value, according to the district's estimates. Collection would begin in 2020.

"This operating levy means critical funding for our current quality academic programs and services, athletic, arts and club opportunities, excellent teachers and up-to-date resources," Miller said.

For more information about the 2019-20 school year, visit bexleyschools.org. For more information about the levy, visit bexleyexcellence.com.

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