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Monroe Schools nabs leader from one of area’s most academically acclaimed districts

The growing Monroe School system will add a new leader next school year.

The Monroe school board voted unanimously Monday evening to hire a top official from one of Southwest Ohio’s most academically acclaimed school systems as its next superintendent.

They chose Kathy Demers, assistant superintendent for Hamilton County’s Wyoming Schools for the last half decade.

MORE: 5 things to know about Monroe Schools

In a statement released by the board, members described the former teacher and principal as bringing with her “the leadership skills and knowledge required to enhance the educational quality of their school system.”

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“Kathy Demers was chosen for her ability to create a positive culture of openness, trust and respect in dealing with students, staff, as well as, the school’s community so vital for growth. (She) is known as an inspirational leader, who is focused on building work relationships with: teachers, professional learning institutions, community members, and area businesses,” school board members said in the statement.

Wyoming Schools have consistently been rated among the top 10 academic performers among all Ohio public school districts.

Current Monroe Superintendent Phil Cagwin is retiring on July 31, and Demers will then take over leadership of the district.

MORE: Monroe superintendent announces retirement

Demers said, “I was looking for a district where I can devote my knowledge, skills and attitudes toward the growth of the organization while directly working with students, staff, administrators and community members both on a personal and professional level. Monroe Schools is the ideal complement for who I am as a school leader.”

Board President Brett Guido described Demers as “a no brainer for us.”

“Kathy quickly rose to the top early in the (hiring) process,” he said.

Demers was given a three-year contract and her first year’s salary is $120,000.

Cagwin led the 2,700-student district through the darkest financial days in its history, coming aboard first as an interim superintendent in 2012 when Monroe Schools were mired in debt and under state oversight as part of falling into a fiscal emergency status.

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He has previously been superintendent of Talawanda Schools in Butler County.

With the passage of a new tax levy in 2012, state education and auditor officials released Monroe from its state-ordered financial emergency in 2014 once the school system returned to solvency.

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