Superintendent Greg Young grew up and still lives in Ross School district, graduated from its high school and has spent nearly three decades working for the Butler County school system.
Next month Young ends his long run with his beloved school district when he retires from its top office.
But the former, teacher and principal’s eyes turn watery not over the departure but from looking back on a unique privilege he earned through his longevity at Ross.
“There really is not a better feeling — excuse me if I get a little emotional here — there is no better feeling than being at a gas station filling your car up and up pulls somebody who was a former student who says ‘hey Mr. Young how you doing?’ or you see a former student with his family in his yard and they are gainfully employed and doing well,” says Young.
“And I was a Ross graduate too, so now I have the grandchildren (as students) of my classmates who are still in Ross. In terms of job satisfaction I can’t image anything better,” he says.
The 63-year-old’s leadership at Ross finishes on a series of high notes that include 2015’s Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education for Ross High School and the Ohio Department of Education’s “All As” award last year — one of only 44 awarded to high schools in the state.
In 2012, Young was Southwest Ohio’s winner of the Exemplary Educator Award from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators.
Overall the district, which enrolls 2,835 students, is consistently one of Southwest Ohio’s top academic performers on the state’s annual school report card.
Young credits the district’s teachers and school parents.
“Classrooms are where the rubber meets the road and you have to have outstanding teachers to have an outstanding district,” he says.
“And we have a very supportive community in Ross because people here still value education very much. We have a great partnership between our schools and the community. We all have to be pulling in the same direction.”
“We can never forget we are in a people business,” he says.
Ross Board of Education President Steve Stitsinger says Young always remembered that principle as inspiration for his leadership.
“I don’t think you’ll find anyone more dedicated to Ross Schools,” says Stitsinger. “He has done an excellent job and we will miss his dedication to the district. He is very diligent and a hard worker.”
Young will retire July 31 and be replaced the next day by new superintendent Scott Gates, who was previously director of student services for Finneytown Schools in Hamilton County.
Gates is a former elementary school principal who has also worked for Forest Hills and Little Miami school districts.