PERRY TOWNSHIP — In a cost-cutting move, the Perry school board recently hired Kelly Schooler as the district’s new superintendent. She will also retain her duties as the elementary school principal.
The contract runs June 18 through July 31 and a three-year contract runs from Aug. 1 through July 31, 2023.
She’ll replace current superintendent Alison Van Gorder, who submitted her resignation in January. No reason was given for Van Gorder’s resignation, which is effective June 17.
Schooler’s been involved in education for almost 23 years, the last 13 with Perry schools.
“My first position was at Perry Local Schools as an in-school suspension supervisor,” Schooler said.
She’s also worked for Lima schools for three years before earning a master’s degree Ohio State University. From there, she taught for three years in Texas and then back to Ohio, taking a job as a principal for Columbus schools.
In addition, Schooler was part of a program in the United Kingdom.
“I did a year over in the UK. It was a leadership program where we opened a new school for all the students who had been expelled in the area. It had been commissioned by Tony Blair,” Schooler said.
Schooler is a 1987 graduate of Perry schools.
“I’ve always had really great mentors and so the superintendency is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now and it’s exciting. It’s a new role for sure. The best thing about the role at Perry is that we’ve got such great support — and I really mean that, all the way from our board of education to our teaching staff or support staff in our community. Everybody cares about our schools,” Schooler said.
She says she faces many of the same challenges that other schools across the nation are facing, coronavirus aside.
“Challenges in terms of budgeting, challenges in terms of reading — getting kids to read at grade level, that’s definitely a challenge across the nation. Our graduation rate is very strong. Those are the things that I think are within our scope,” Schooler said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.