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South-Western City Schools News Article

Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise announces retirement

Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise announces intent to retire 

Dr. Wise will transition roles to Special Assistant to the Superintendent effective August 1, 2024 and retire August 31, 2025

At the Monday, March 11, 2024 regular meeting of the South-Western City School District (SWCSD) Board of Education, the board was informed by Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise of his intent to retire prior to the expiration of his current contract.

“It has been my privilege to serve as a caretaker of the district for the better part of two decades and I have been blessed to work with many talented staff, board, and community members,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise. “In addition, I have also benefited from the incredible work of others that came before me. My hope is that in some small way I will leave the district better than when I arrived. South-Western City Schools is the biggest, small place you can find. We have a history of building partnerships that propel us forward, which I am confident will continue."

While many school districts see more routine turnover in the position due to the high demands associated with the role (less than five years on average according to the School Superintendents Association (AASA)), SWCSD has been incredibly fortunate to have had the steadfast leadership of Dr. Wise at the helm of Ohio’s fifth largest school system for the past 17 years - overseeing a period of significant growth in an array of different areas. Dr. Wise’s tenure with the district is one marked by both sustainability and continuity, leaving indelible impressions on the lives of thousands of students over the course of nearly two decades.

“When Dr. Wise indicated he was preparing for retirement, we saw an opportunity to use his wealth of history, knowledge, and expertise to provide stability as we transition to new leadership,” said Chris Boso, SWCSD board president. “With such experience in the role, he is uniquely positioned to help the board and a new Superintendent bring about positive change on behalf of our community, while avoiding unintended missteps.”

Dr. Wise was originally hired as Superintendent in October 2007. Prior to that, Dr. Wise first made his way to the district in 2002 where he previously served the district as both Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum.

   - During his tenure as Superintendent of South-Western City Schools:
   - The district has made significant infrastructure advancements to enhance student learning outcomes with the building of 13 new state-of-
      the-art elementary schools, four new middle schools, one new high school, and various other site development projects.
   - Oversaw the implementation of full day kindergarten with the building of new elementary schools in 2013.
   - The district has not been in a position to ask taxpayers for operating funds since 2009 and is projected to be in the black for the next five       years.
   - Graduated approximately 21,660 students (as of May 2023) across all high schools since 2008.
   - Created the Accelerated Learning Center (ALC) in 2016, an in-house college preparatory program for high school students to pursue            college credit and earn associate degrees in two or three year pathways.
   - Finally, in large part thanks to Dr. Wise’s vision and leadership, the district achieved the highest graduation rate ever earned in the                history of the school system dating back to 1956.

Recognizing his valued experience and leadership, the board chose to reassign Dr. Wise to the role of Special Assistant to the Superintendent effective August 1, 2024 until his retirement on August 31, 2025.

“While I do not want to see him leave, I have witnessed the hours and the emotional energy a job as big as this takes to do well,” said SWCSD board vice-president Kelli Martindale. “I want the best for him and feel better knowing he will continue to support us for another year.”

Effective immediately, the South-Western City School District Board of Education and district administration will work collaboratively to formally post the position, conduct interviews, and exhaust all resources necessary to secure its next educational leader for our 21,000 students and 2,800 staff members.

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