The new school year brought new superintendents at three area school districts. They are Nicole Jiran at Hopewell-Loudon, David Danhoff at Lakota and Gregg Pettit in Bettsville.
Nicole Jiran said she is excited to be at Hopewell-Loudon Local School District to help her fulfill her goal of doing what's best for kids.
Jiran previously was principal at Kirkersville Elementary in the Southwest Licking school district, a school with about 600 students, and she brings 11 years of school administration experience to H-L.
She said she chose to come to Hopewell-Loudon to have the opportunity to change from building-level to district-level administration. The adjustment, she said, has been wonderful, and she is fully enjoying the people, students and community in Seneca County.
Jiran also said she is excited about the new school building, which is on schedule for completion in June 2013.
The building "brings a sense of pride," Jiran said, and will help Hopewell-Loudon stay on task as "an excellent school striving to become better."
David Danhoff, new superintendent of Lakota Local Schools, has a background in school administration, and said he accepted the position at Lakota to "make a difference," and take the school's academic and athletic performance to the next level.
The biggest challenge facing Lakota schools, Danhoff said, is raising the academic bar for students, thereby improving the school's performance and state grade card.
Lakota is "zeroing in on core state standards," he said, to achieve desired scores.
Danhoff previously was superintendent at Willard City Schools, and said the job at Lakota was attractive because of the new facilities and resources the school system could offer. The people of Lakota, Danhoff said, "are extremely nice," and he is excited to be a part of Lakota's "rich, proud tradition," where students can achieve an outstanding education.
Gregg Pettit, Bettsville Local School's new superintendent, is focused on growing Bettsville school, in student body and academic performance.
Pettit, who previously was principal of Patrick Henry schools, said he was drawn to Bettsville by the challenges the district presented. He said Bettsville is not a "school on top," and future possibilities for the district were appealing to him.
Now, Pettit is focused on growing the school's enrollment and adding programs and athletic options to give students more choices. He said enrollment has increased by about 14 students for the new year, and "a long-range plan is in place" to help achieve Bettsville's goals.
Pettit was hired on a part-time contract, which is unusual for a superintendent, but he said the job "affords him flexibility," and that time will tell if the hours are effective.
In addition to growing enrollment at Bettsville, Pettit said he is focused on "increasing test scores and solidifying academic programs."
"We are taking steps," he said.