Monroe Schools superintendent leaving

One of Butler County’s most veteran school district leaders is retiring, the Journal-News learned exclusively Monday.

Monroe Superintendent Phil Cagwin, who began his career in public education in 1975, will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Monroe starts classes Wednesday.

A decade-long superintendent for Talawanda Schools before retiring and then taking the top Monroe Schools’ job in 2012, the 64-year-old Cagwin said he wants to spend more time with his family.

“I have many fond memories of serving as a teacher, coach, special education director, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent,” said Cagwin.

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.

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.

Tom Leeds, president of the Monroe Board of Education, said Cagwin “will be a tough act to follow,” and praised the superintendent for restoring, then growing the schools system, which was created in 2000 as a split off from the adjacent Middletown district.

“He has been an excellent superintendent and a very hard worker. He is great with the community and has the full trust of both the school staffers and the community,” said Leeds.

Leeds said he anticipates the school board will begin its search for a new superintendent during the traditional timeframe of advertising the job and interviewing in the first months of the new year in order to hire a new leader for the 2018-2019 school year.

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