LIMA — While leaving Columbus Grove schools wasn't an easy decision to make, recent success allows Bob Jennell to know he is leaving at a good time.The Southwest Licking Local Board of Education hired Jennell at its Wednesday meeting. He will take over as superintendent Aug. 1.Jennell, 46, credits his Columbus Grove staff, pupils and the community for several accomplishments, including a recent U.S. News and World report high ranking, being named a Blue Ribbon School, and being just a couple of months from completing a building project.“Columbus Grove is really on a high,” he said. “I kind of like that feeling as a superintendent, and to leave now, I think they are going to be in good hands. ... Grove is on a high right now and whoever comes in can ride that wave.”Columbus Grove Local Board of Education President Ned Stechschulte said the position will be posted immediately, with hopes of filling it by Aug. 1. The board may work with the county educational office. Stechschulte credited Jennell with getting the district through the building project.“Bob has done a tremendous job on our school project and managing the moving of students,” he said. “It was a difficult job and he did a great job with it. We wish him the best.”Southwest Licking is a 4,000-pupil district near Columbus. It encompasses the communities of Etna, Kirkersville, and Pataskala. Columbus Grove has 920 pupils.“One of the reasons you go into education is to affect the lives of kids, and each of my moves has allowed me to reach out to more kids,” he said. The position is the first Jennell has applied for since coming to Columbus Grove 10 years ago. Jennell's two children have graduated high school, and he and his wife both have family in the Columbus area. “It was a good time to step out and see what else I could do in the field of education,” he said. Jennell spent 10 years teaching and then serving as middle school assistant principal at Elida schools. He was high school principal at Columbus Grove for three years before becoming superintendent for the past seven. You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.