Meet the new supers: 3 new faces now among school leaders as classes start

Three area public school systems are starting the new school year with new leaders. At Kings Schools, Greg Sears (pictured), is now guiding the consistently high academic performing school system. And both Monroe and Madison Schools also have new leaders with Robert Buskirk and Jeff Staggs as superintendents. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
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Three area public school systems are starting the new school year with new leaders. At Kings Schools, Greg Sears (pictured), is now guiding the consistently high academic performing school system. And both Monroe and Madison Schools also have new leaders with Robert Buskirk and Jeff Staggs as superintendents. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

A new school year is also bringing new school leaders to some area public school systems.

Kings, Monroe and Madison schools all have new superintendents now guiding them through the third consecutive school year with some or all portions of the school calendar impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

As classes continue opening this week for the 2021-22 school year amid on-going public debates and changing pandemic protocols concerning students and masks, there still remains the traditional excitement of new leadership, said the three superintendents.

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It has been a whirlwind of community introductions and events for Greg Sears as he continues to make himself familiar with the Kings Schools’ community in southern Warren County.

“Over the past few weeks, I have enjoyed meeting many community members, parents, and teachers in the district,” said Sears, a former school principal in the adjacent Mason Schools, whose last position as assistant superintendent in Hamilton County’s Forest Hills district.

ExploreNew Kings Schools superintendent already familiar with area: Meet Greg Sears

“What has impressed me is the immense amount of pride that exists within the community. Almost every person I have met just raves about how great this school district is,” said Sears, whose father Bill Sears was a long-time superintendent of Lebanon Schools.

He said his “first priority other than the safety and security of our staff and students is to establish community-wide relationships to build confidence and trust with stakeholder groups.”

Sears said he plans to do that by “engaging the community in the next few months with small group informal opportunities to listen to the needs, expectations, and feelings about the district.”

Monroe’s new superintendent, Robert Buskirk, has been busy learning more about his new district that straddles the border between Butler and Warren counties.

“It’s going great,” said the former interim superintendent of Lebanon Schools. “The community and the school staff and the kids have been so friendly and welcoming. Since the minute I got hired I’ve met a lot of tremendous families and people. There is so much pride in this school district and community.

Monroe is a fast-growing district and Buskirk said “one of the major issues facing us in the next couple of years is our growth.”

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Robert Buskirk, interim superintendent of Lebanon Schools, will soon be hired as Monroe Schools newest leader, say district officials. Buskirk, a nearly two-decade veteran of Lebanon Schools, will replace departing Monroe Superintendent Kathy Demers on Aug. 1. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Credit: MeggieBPhotography

Robert Buskirk, interim superintendent of Lebanon Schools, will soon be hired as Monroe Schools newest leader, say district officials. Buskirk, a nearly two-decade veteran of Lebanon Schools, will replace departing Monroe Superintendent Kathy Demers on Aug. 1. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Caption
Robert Buskirk, interim superintendent of Lebanon Schools, will soon be hired as Monroe Schools newest leader, say district officials. Buskirk, a nearly two-decade veteran of Lebanon Schools, will replace departing Monroe Superintendent Kathy Demers on Aug. 1. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Credit: MeggieBPhotography

Credit: MeggieBPhotography

ExploreMonroe Schools to hire Lebanon interim superintendent for leader

“We are bursting at the seams, especially at the high school and we need to look at some creative ways to make some more space,” he said as Monroe waits its pending turn to become eligible for state funding to build more learning spaces.

Buskirk said Monroe’s funding eligibility on the state waiting list for millions of dollars of OFCC funds for new school construction is expected to come up in the next two to three years.

His optimism for Monroe’s future, however, doesn’t ignore the on-going pandemic’s impact on K-12 learning.

“We continue to have challenges with this pandemic but our focus is to make it a great school year for the kids because the kids deserve it,” he said.

Madison Schools’ new superintendent, Jeff Staggs, is one of the most experienced in Ohio, having logged 17 years as a district leader for Newcomerstown Schools in northeast region of the state.

ExploreMadison hires one of Ohio’s longest-tenured superintendents as new leader

Staggs said his initial impressions of the largely rural Madison school system are glowing.

“I’m so impressed with by Madison and its emphasis on making decisions based on what is best for students,” said Staggs. “You can really see that with the staff and the parents and every employee.”

“I really do mean that because I’ve been places where that atmosphere is not there. This is truly a special place,” he said.

Caption
Three area public school systems are starting the new school year with new leaders. At Kings Schools, Greg Sears is now guiding the consistently high academic performing school system. And both Monroe and Madison Schools also have new leaders with Robert Buskirk and Jeff Staggs (pictured) as superintendents. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Three area public school systems are starting the new school year with new leaders. At Kings Schools, Greg Sears is now guiding the consistently high academic performing school system. And both Monroe and Madison Schools also have new leaders with Robert Buskirk and Jeff Staggs (pictured) as superintendents. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Caption
Three area public school systems are starting the new school year with new leaders. At Kings Schools, Greg Sears is now guiding the consistently high academic performing school system. And both Monroe and Madison Schools also have new leaders with Robert Buskirk and Jeff Staggs (pictured) as superintendents. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

Among his many top priorities – assuring the completion of a delayed installation of Madison’s first synthetic athletic field early enough in the fall to allow girls and boys sports teams to have home games.

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“I’m concerned for our seniors because they need to be playing at home on our field,” said Staggs.

Staggs said the mood in the Madison school community “is very upbeat and really positive” going into a new school year.

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