Q & A with the new Edgewood Schools superintendent

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

TRENTON — The latest leadership change among area school districts saw Edgewood officials push the recent trend of school systems staying with a veteran superintendent with long roots in Butler County.

Former Talawanda Schools Superintendent Kelly Spivey was just picked by the Edgewood Board of Education to move from interim to full time leader in the wake of Superintendent Russ Fussnecker’s retirement on Jan. 1.

Spivey is a veteran Butler County school administrator and after a brief retirement, which saw her move to Florida, she is back and now resides in Hamilton.

Spivey, who has 36 years of public education, was most recently the interim superintendent at Huber Heights Schools, northeast of Dayton, having been hired by that district in January 2022.

She was hired by Edgewood as interim superintendent in November.

The long-time school district administrator, who retired from Talawanda in 2018, is also the executive director of High AIMS Consortium, an education organization in southwest Ohio that works to improve student achievement.

At her promotion announcement last week, the school board released a statement welcoming Spivey as Edgewood Schools’ new leader noting: “Having lived in Butler County most of her life, Kelly understands the needs of our families and community and advocates for what is best for all students.”

“The Edgewood board felt it was important to provide stability to our district during this time of transition.”

Spivey took a pause in her busy schedule to answer five questions from the Journal-News.

1. Why did you pursue the Edgewood Schools superintendent job?

“It’s not that I was looking for a job. However, when asked to be in interim and fill the position until the end of the school year, it was an easy decision.

Once arriving to the district, it was evident that this was a district full of community pride. Edgewood School district deserves someone that cares about education and student success.

“I’m concerned about the number of superintendent vacancies and lack of interest to fill these positions across the nation. It only makes sense for those that are passionate about education to jump back into the arena and help.”

2. What Top 3 issues/challenges are first on your to do list as superintendent?

“Deficit spending, student achievement and community engagement.”

3. How will your long experience with Talawanda Schools — and living in the Butler County area — enhance your work as the district leader?

“I believe that living in the county - and just next door to Edgewood - provides much insight about state and local issues.”

4. Where does the district stand now and where do you want it to be?

“I would like to increase student achievement, community engagement, and fiscal solvency. I would also like to begin moving the district to a measure that others strive to become.”

5. What is the main thing you want Edgewood school families, students, staffers, area business and community leaders to know about you and what is coming under your leadership?

“I would like for the community to know that I believe in strong partnerships, respect individual differences, and value input. I’m looking forward to working with them as we move the district forward and support student learning.”

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