It was with great sadness I read of the pending retirement of Clyde-Green Springs Superintendent Gregg Elchert.
Having served under Gregg as a teacher, I can attest that whether as a superintendent or a principal, every decision he made was with the best interests of the students in mind. Elchert's accomplishments during his tenure are made all the more remarkable given the drastic budget cuts imposed by the Kasich administration. These budget cuts forced our school board to cut vital services for our schoolchildren.
As a principal, Gregg gave teachers the freedom to be creative in the classroom. I know in my case, I received many of my teaching awards because Gregg let me utilize tools that could reach difficult learning styles, so all of the children could succeed.
He was the prime architect of treating middle school students as their own entity, not as small high school students. This concept went on to receive local, state and national acclaim. I know many of us who had taught at Clyde Junior High were not sure at first about change, but we saw a chance to remake our school when Gregg said, "You'll no longer be the sage on the stage, but the guide on the side" and gave us the opportunity to get away from lecturing and the students a chance to explore independently. It was a success, thanks to Gregg's vision, and it has been an honor to be part of it.
Gregg then became superintendent under difficult circumstances, but under his leadership, the district became known for academic excellence, and I know he inspired me and many other educators to indeed reach for the stars and push ourselves to be the best educators we could be.
Gregg once told me he never wanted to make a decision that could hurt our kids. The local budget cuts deemed necessary due to the draconian cuts imposed by the Kasich administration made him and the school board put in cuts that were indeed painful, but I know Gregg never would have approved any cuts unless they were truly necessary.
Gregg was at Clyde-Green Springs schools for nine years before the Ohio Supreme Court first ruled the state's system of funding public schools was unconstitutional. Fifteen years later, and still there has been no school funding fix. It is too bad Gregg had to end his career here under a pro-charter, pro-voucher governor who stated in his book, "Stand for Something," that our broken public school system is beyond fixing.
Thank you, Gregg, and best of luck to you and your family. Your retirement is truly our community's loss.