LIBERTY TWP., Ohio - The Lakota Local school board has gone outside the district for its next superintendent, choosing Matt Miller, a St. Xavier High School and University of Cincinnati grad.
The Price Hill native, who had been superintendent of Mentor Schools in northern Ohio, beat out former Lakota school administrator Keith Kline for the job of leading Ohio’s eighth largest school system.
The five-member school board unanimously approved the hiring at a special board meeting late Friday afternoon. Miller, 45, received a five-year contract that will pay him a base annual salary of $169,900.
“Lakota really appealed to me because it’s a great, strong community that really supports its schools,” Miller told the Journal-News.
“There is a high potential there for an upswing in opportunities for the kids.”
Miller said he looks forward to leading Southwest Ohio’s largest suburban school system.
“I’m hoping that we all remember this day as sort of the day we turned the page and moved in a new direction for our kids and for our community,” he said.
Lakota Board of Education Vice President Todd Parnell told the Journal-News that “we listened to the community, the faculty, administrators and completed a rigorous interview process.”
“I am absolutely certain we got this right. He will lead Lakota into the future at light speed. This is a very special day for Lakota,” said Parnell.
According to community committee report obtained by the Journal-News, committee members preferred Miller over Kline by a slight margin. The committee’s report, which came from its two dozen members who included area residents, school staff, school parents and local business leaders, was not binding on the school board’s final decision.
Lakota Board Education President Ben Dibble said Miller has “repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to using innovation and community partnerships as a means for maximizing student opportunities in a fiscally-conscious manner.”
“We heard these same themes over and over again from our staff and community feedback sessions. His collaborative leadership style will help take the great talent we already have all around Lakota to the next level,” said Dibble.
Some highlights from Miller’s career include:
- superintendent of both Mentor and Celina Schools in Ohio.
- selected as one of the National School Boards Association’s “Top 20 To Watch” in the nation.
- the presenter at the White House for the GoOpen Initiative on Open Education Resources on the behalf of the U.S. Department of Education – Office of Education Technology.
- accepted as one of only two Ohio superintendents into the national League of Innovative Schools.
- oversaw the awarding of a $12 million Straight A grant to Mentor Schools from the Ohio Department of Education.
- led the Mentor Schools through two successful tax levy campaigns
- taught at Oakdale Elementary in the Oak Hills school system.
Acting Lakota Superintendent Robb Vogelmann will continue to lead the 16,500-student Butler County district until Miller’s arrival in June.
Vogelmann, who previously was assistant superintendent for Lakota, was appointed by the school board in August after the departure of former Superintendent Karen Mantia, who was granted medical leave by the board.