Superintendent of top Butler County academic district resigning for new position

The leader of one of Butler County’s highest-performing school districts is leaving.

Scott Gates of Ross Schools announced Wednesday he is resigning.

Gates has led the school system for four years, and the district has consistently been among the county’s highest rated districts in the annual state report cards.

Gates will next take the position of assistant director of alternative education with the Butler County Educational Service Center (BCESC), which serves all 10 public school systems in the county.

“It will be an honor to support the BCESC and serve the many school districts and organizations in this capacity. I know this team works hard to support students and I’m excited to be there to support them. I have enjoyed working with the Ross staff, students, parents and community and I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished during this time,” wrote Gates in a released statement.

His final day with Ross will be July 31.

Ross is a largely rural district and primarily a bedroom community with a relatively smaller business tax base. For that reason Ross has for years been one of the few school districts in southwest Ohio to receive a large portion of its local tax revenue via school income taxes.

Last year, Gates and other district officials successfully persuaded voters to approve a school income tax hike after residents rejected an initial ballot issue was defeated in fall 2018.

In the summer of 2019, the district hosted the largest active shooter drill in Butler County history and Gates volunteered to play the part of a superintendent taken hostage at gun point by an intruder.

And last August the district unveiled its first artificial turf sports field in Ross history.

Ross Board of Education President Sean Van Winkle praised Gates for leading the district and its 2,700 students.

“Scott has a tireless work ethic and his commitment to the staff and students of Ross Schools was evident each day. He led the district through some difficult times and did so with integrity and class,” said Van Winkle.

School board members made no comments Wednesday regarding the hiring of a new superintendent, but on the district’s website there is an advertisement for candidates and it includes a timetable where the board states it would like to have a new leader in place by Aug. 1.

Applicants for the job have until July 10 to apply. Initial interviews will be conducted by the board July 13-14, final interviews July 20-21 with the five-member board voting on a new superintendent on July 23.

Classes are currently scheduled to resume for the 2020-2021 school year on Sept. 8, pending state orders on how learning is to be conducted in Ohio’s K-12 schools under the coronavirus threat.

School Board Vice President Amy Webb said Gates’ tenure as Ross’ leader was marked by “passion and enthusiasm for education and the students and faculty.”

“Scott accomplished a lot during his tenure as superintendent of Ross and will be missed,” said Webb.

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