Hamilton’s State of the Schools event returns, will showcase wins during COVID-19

Jon Graft, superintendent of Butler Tech career school system, touted the first-year partnership with Hamilton Schools and other news during the last, pre-COVID-19 State of the Schools luncheon in February 2020. Thursday the yearly event, which includes leaders from Hamilton Schools, Miami University Regionals and Badin High School updating the public, will resume after being canceled by the pandemic in 2021.  (Photo By Michael D. Clark/Journal-News)

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Jon Graft, superintendent of Butler Tech career school system, touted the first-year partnership with Hamilton Schools and other news during the last, pre-COVID-19 State of the Schools luncheon in February 2020. Thursday the yearly event, which includes leaders from Hamilton Schools, Miami University Regionals and Badin High School updating the public, will resume after being canceled by the pandemic in 2021. (Photo By Michael D. Clark/Journal-News)

Despite approaching the beginning of a third year of schooling under the shadow of a global pandemic, the leader of Hamilton Schools plans to highlight hard-won positives during his speech today at the city’s annual State of the Schools event.

Mike Holbrook, superintendent of the 9,500-student Hamilton Schools, said the district continues to find ways to overcome COVID-19 challenges, which beset all schools nationwide starting in March 2020.

And district officials and Hamilton’s school board, Holbrook said, remain undeterred by the historic pandemic.

“The leadership by the district and the board of education during the past 24 months has been unwavering, placing the safety and academic needs of students and staff as the number one priority,” Holbrook told the Journal-News earlier this week.

Holbrook will be among the series of speakers at the yearly State of the Schools Red Carpet Luncheon today at the Marriott Courtyard by Marriott Hamilton.

The invited audience, which includes representatives from the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and leaders from area businesses, will also hear from Ande Durojaiye, vice president and dean of Miami University Regionals — which includes the Hamilton Miami campus, Brian Pendergest, principal of Badin High School and Jon Graft, superintendent/CEO of Butler Tech.

COVID-19 precautions canceled the event in 2021.

“A lot has changed in education since we last had this event in February of 2020,” Pendergest told the Journal-News. “We have lived through and continue to cope with a pandemic, which dramatically altered the way all of us worked.”

Pendergest said his remarks will include deserved praise for Badin’s teachers who have excelled during the last two years of historic challenges.

“Even though the educational system experienced very difficult times and the methods we used to deliver lessons changed - there is one thing that the pandemic definitely proved — teachers are extraordinary. Teachers are resilient. Teachers are creative and teachers truly care about their students.”

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