Butler County superintendent recognized nationally for communication innovations

For the first time Lakota Schools — Southwest Ohio’s largest school system — are using monthly YouTube videos to highlight some of the news out of the 16,500-student district. The new, digital outreach is part of Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller’s aggressive use of new media to connect with the Butler County district’s residents. Pictured are Lakota Treasurer Jenni Logan (left) and Miller as they introduce November’s video.

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For the first time Lakota Schools — Southwest Ohio’s largest school system — are using monthly YouTube videos to highlight some of the news out of the 16,500-student district. The new, digital outreach is part of Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller’s aggressive use of new media to connect with the Butler County district’s residents. Pictured are Lakota Treasurer Jenni Logan (left) and Miller as they introduce November’s video.

An area school superintendent is the first in Ohio to win a national award for creatively using communication technology.

Lakota Local Schools’ Matt Miller has won this year’s Communication Technology Award For Superintendents, beating out other school district leaders across America.

The award, which is a presented annually by the National School Public Relations Association, “recognizes a superintendent of a K-12 school system … for leadership in redefining, upgrading, and integrating cutting-edge communication technology to improve and expand outreach and engagement with education stakeholders.”

 

Since his hiring in 2017 to lead southwest Ohio’s largest suburban school system, Miller has launched numerous digital outreach programs, started the district’s first Twitter account and mobile app and started a series of YouTube videos all designed to inform Lakota residents about the 16,500-student district.

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But most significantly, Miller led the historic roll out of a free laptop program last fall for middle school students and followed it up with the same free learning tech program for high school students in January.

The district, which is the eighth-largest in Ohio, is the first in the region to attempt such a wide distribution of free laptops, which students can take home and do school work.

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Miller told the Journal-News that “using technology to share the outstanding learning happening throughout Lakota Schools is natural.”

“We must meet people where they are and must use as many communication vehicles as we can,” Miller said.

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Julie Shaffer, president of the Lakota Board of Education, said “we’re very proud that Matt is being recognized at a national level for the transformation we’ve witnessed locally since his arrival at Lakota.”

“Not only is he a great communicator, but through his leadership he has transformed how our entire district communicates and he has taken us to the next level,” Shaffer said.

NSPRA judges at the group’s recent national convention described the superintendent as using “digital platforms to make connections, build relationships, support 24/7 professional development and provide an inside look at what is happening inside Lakota schools.”

“In a short time, his efforts in a district of more than 16,000 students has made it much more unified,” officials said.

“Miller hosts Facebook Live sessions and developed the Lakota Learning Blog. Both mediums are opportunities where staff and other stakeholders can share their areas of expertise and provide relevant content to parents and others in the community,” officials said.

 

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