Middletown school leader asks for business leaders’ help in improving

Middletown Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. made his pitch to some of the city’s business and government leaders for more partnerships with the schools. Styles also unveiled the school system’s new, three-year strategic plan during the The Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe & Trenton event.

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Middletown Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. made his pitch to some of the city’s business and government leaders for more partnerships with the schools. Styles also unveiled the school system’s new, three-year strategic plan during the The Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe & Trenton event.

The leader of Middletown schools told some leaders of the city’s businesses and government that the local schools are on the road to better days and they’re invited to help speed up the ride.

Middletown Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. recently gave a presentation on the Butler County school system’s new, three-year strategic plan.

“Everything in this document is there to improve student achievement,” Styles said.

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It won’t work though, he said, without the help of local leaders and other community members.

“We have a robust story to tell,” Styles told the dozen attendees of the Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton event.

He hopes that will include more direct partnerships with local businesses.

“We are looking for our (community) partners to bring an authentic learning experience to our students (because) if we are going to grow future business-minded students, we need to connect with their interests,” he told the gathering, which included Mayor Larry Mulligan Jr.

Two years in the making, the new strategic plan, which was approved by the Middletown Board of Education, is both a mission statement and guide to focus the school board, district officials and school staffers toward the same priorities of improving the troubled school system.

“We know our kids are not achieving at the level they should be and are capable of,” said Styles.

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Middletown’s district has traditionally been one of the lowest performing school systems in southwest Ohio, according to annual report cards compiled by the Ohio Department of Education.

But since taking over the top school job in August for the 5,900-student school system, Styles has enacted sweeping changes all designed to both enhance learning and inspire expanded support across all segments of the city’s communities.

“Our responsibility is to make sure our kids are future ready (and) we are moving the needle pretty quickly,” he said.

He said next month the district will invite Middletown-area business leaders into the schools to discuss new partnership opportunities.

Gina Wallace, assistant vice president and sales center manager for First National Bank in Middletown, left impressed.

“I think it’s great to learn about the vision of this school district,” said Wallace. “I like to understand what is going on in the community, and it’s neat to see what everyone is doing and how they (school officials) are going in the right direction.”

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