Northwestern school board hires new superintendent

Jeff Patrick has 27 years in education.

The Northwestern Local School Board of Education unanimously approved Jeff Patrick as the district’s next superintendent at its Thursday night meeting.

“Northwestern Board of Education strives for our school district to be a place for academic excellence for all students, a great place to work for staff members and a source of pride for our community. We think that Jeff Patrick will help us reach this goal,” the board said in a release.

Patrick will be the next leader, effective through a contract that runs Aug. 1 this year through July 31, 2027.

Patrick, of Arcanum, has worked in education for 27 years, with 11 years of superintendent experience.

He has served as a teacher at Piqua City Schools, elementary principal at Sidney City Schools and Anna Local Schools, and superintendent at Bradford Exempted Village Schools and Franklin Monroe Local Schools, where he played a “pivotal role” with their treasurer in transforming their district from deficit spending to a balanced budget. He has spent the last six years as the director of business operations for Fairborn City Schools, where he has overseen the building projects of two new elementary schools and a new high school. He was also a basketball and volleyball coach for 11 years.

“Upon researching Patrick’s superintendent background at Bradford and Franklin Monroe, we have discovered that he has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and educational development for students, as well as professional growth opportunities for staff members. His focus on fostering strong relationships with students, staff and community members aligns perfectly with Northwestern’s values,” the board said.

During the interview process, Patrick expressed his excitement to join the Northwestern community and his commitment to meet and interact with students and staff on a daily basis as well as building relationships with community members.

Patrick has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, master’s in Teacher Leadership and post-graduate work in education from Wright State University from the University of Dayton.

Shawn Blazer, Mike Milner and Patrick were interviewed for this position on April 1. Fifteen people initially applied for the position, including Blazer, Milner, Patrick, Joel Anderson, Ron Brown, Melinda Clark, Chris Conley, Clint Freese, Jeffrey Greulich, Joseph Hall, Martha Hasselbusch, Lisa Tuttle-Huff, Tony Meinerding, Erin Neitzelt and Joy Stokes.

“The (board) is confident that Patrick’s leadership will allow our district to continue to prosper and is looking forward to the positive impact he will have on our students, staff and community,” the board said.

The school board release did not include Patrick’s pay, but the News-Sun has requested that information from the district.

The Northwestern school board and the Clark County Educational Service Center (ESC) helped in the process of the superintendent search.

Clark County ESC Superintendent Dan Bennett has been the interim superintendent since former superintendent Jesse Steiner left the job Dec. 1 last year in a separation and settlement agreement with the board.

Steiner, who had with more than 2 1/2 years remaining on his contract, will remain as a consultant to the superintendent until Dec. 31, 2024. He is being paid his full salary of $145,000 annually and his benefits without having to work in person or daily.

In his role as a consultant, Steiner must generally be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, by phone and email, to respond in a “reasonable time to reasonable employment-related requests” from any interim superintendent, the next superintendent, and/or the treasurer.

On Nov. 28 last year, Steiner and the board of education agreed to a deal to end his work as superintendent “in order to avoid the time, expense, distraction and acrimony of protracted litigation.” Neither side explained what led to the agreement.

About the Author