Hamilton superintendent: ‘The time has come for me to step aside’

UPDATE @ 8:57 a.m.

Hamilton Schools Superintendent Larry Knapp will resign as of April 8, according the resignation letter he sent to the board of education and officials dated Friday morning.

In a separate letter to staff members sent on Wednesday, Knapp wrote that he worked toward three main goals, including preparing Assistant Superintendent Michael Holbrook to take over as superintendent when Knapp’s term finished after this school year. He felt those goals had been achieved, he wrote.

Holbrook will become superintendent when Knapp resigns, school officials said.

“Things have progressed well and maybe a little more quickly than originally presumed,” Knapp wrote. “But after speaking with the Board of Education (Tuesday) night we are all in agreement the time has come for me to step aside and for Mike to take the helm.”

INITIAL REPORT, 8:47 p.m., Thursday, March 14

The leader of Hamilton Schools is resigning, according to a member of the district's governing board.

Hamilton Schools Superintendent Larry Knapp will be vacating his position, according to Tom Alf, member of the Hamilton Board of Education.

Alf said Thursday evening Knapp was leaving the job he has held since April 2018 for "personal reasons."

Alf said the superintendent's departure was not due to conflict with the five-member board who hired him.

"We wish he would stay for 20 years," with the school district, said Alf.

“Larry saved our district and I think the world of him. I hate to see him go because he has us going in the right direction,” said Alf. “He was there when we needed him.”

Alf added that Knapp expressed a desire to spend more time with his family as the reason behind leaving early.

Neither Knapp nor other board members responded Thursday evening to requests seeking their comments.

Knapp had a contractual arrangement to led the 10,000-student city schools through the current school year into the summer break.

The school board had lined up Hamilton Schools’ Assistant Superintendent Michael Holbrook to take over the job starting with the 2019-2020 school year.

Previously, Knapp was business director for the Butler County school system and then took over in April 2018 in the wake of the resignation of former Hamilton Schools Superintendent Tony Orr.

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Knapp is an Ohio schools veteran leader of 39 years who has previously been superintendent at Butler County's Edgewood Schools and interim superintendent at Warren County's Kings Schools.

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Holbrook is also an education veteran, a former school principal and district-level curriculum administrator for Hamilton County’s Mount Healthy and Northwest school districts.

The Journal-News will report more as details become available.

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