Monroe superintendent leaving to join statewide organization

Kathy Demers, superintendent of Monroe Schools since 2018, is leaving for a position with Ohio's Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA). Demers has overseen Monroe Schools' continued enrollment growth and led its efforts to maintain instructional learning during the coronavirus pandemic. She created a strategic plan for the 3,000-student district intended for use after her departure.  (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

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Kathy Demers, superintendent of Monroe Schools since 2018, is leaving for a position with Ohio's Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA). Demers has overseen Monroe Schools' continued enrollment growth and led its efforts to maintain instructional learning during the coronavirus pandemic. She created a strategic plan for the 3,000-student district intended for use after her departure. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

The leader of Monroe Schools is leaving for another job, and district officials began interviews Tuesday evening for a new superintendent.

Kathy Demers, who has led the 3,000-student school system since 2018, recently told Monroe’s governing school board she will resign at the end of this school year. She will join the Buckeye Association of School Administrators as director of member development.

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Demers’ leadership was marked by a creation of a strong strategic plan and solidifying an administration team that together will help ease the transition to a new superintendent, said Dave Grant, president of the Monroe Board of Education.

“Kathy was awesome. She was involved in everything and very hands on sort of leader,” said Grant, who was on the board that hired Demers in 2018 after she had spent years as a top official with the acclaimed Wyoming Schools in Hamilton County.

“We’re going to miss Kathy, but because of her strategic plan, we’re not going to miss a beat in achieving academic excellence.”

Demers described her years serving Monroe Schools as “an honor and a privilege.”

She cited as key a diverse school and public committee’s work in 2018 that “developed a core definition of teaching and learning at Monroe Schools that guided the development of a vision statement, core beliefs, and key focus areas. This three-year strategic plan continues to be updated as our roadmap.”

Other notable achievements include providing students with laptops, replacing the turf field and track in the district stadium, improving school security and developing a virtual learning option during the coronavirus pandemic.

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And Demers was one of the more vocal area superintendents to criticize Ohio school funding as unfair and inadequate for Monroe Schools.

Demers said she “worked closely with Monroe Treasurer Holly Cahall and members of the board of education to communicate with the community and legislators the inequity of Monroe’s funding model as a capped school district. Our team continues to lobby for a more fair funding model.”

In Butler County overall, superintendent turnover is low this year compared to some recent years.

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The district, which has two schools – a pre-kindergarten through second grade primary school and a 3-12 school - has seen steady enrollment growth in recent years.

Monroe school officials have turned the superintendent search over to the Butler County Educational Services Center (BCESC) and the organization’s Superintendent – Chris Brown – said the vacancy initially attracted 32 candidates to apply.

Brown said the finalists for the job are expected to be narrowed down to two or three candidates by the end of the week.

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