With a resume of leadership and collaboration, Ed Theroux was approved on a unanimous vote to be the next superintendent of the Talawanda School District last Monday night.
He was one of 15 applicants for the position to replace Kelly Spivey, who resigned in December to be effective July 31. Theroux was one of three finalists interviewed first by community members and then by the board of education Feb. 19.
He was in the audience Monday when the board acted on the recommendation to approve his hiring, which takes effect Aug. 1. In the meantime, he will be finishing up his current employment as the Manager of Disability Education/Special Education supervisor for the Great Oaks Career campuses in Cincinnati.
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“I want to do the Talawanda district proud,” he said. “I hope my leadership skills will continue the successes in the district.”
His hiring was met with enthusiasm Monday as faculty members and district residents, some of them from the search committee which screened candidates, congratulated him after the meeting had ended. A group of teachers gathered with him for a “selfie” which was promptly shared on social media.
Following the action on his appointment, Spivey congratulated Theroux.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things,” she said and then looking at him in the audience, added, “You are inheriting a wonderful school district.”
Theroux proved he had done his homework on the district at his meeting with the public Feb. 19, talking about some of the initiatives in place here, including the climate surveys and student and community advisory committees. Still, he said the day after the formal vote to hire him he has a lot of work to do in the next five months to get a lot more familiar with the district.
“First, it will be getting to know the Talawanda community, the needs of the students and staff, what is needed in the strategic plan,” he said. “I am beyond thrilled and excited to be at Talawanda. It’s an amazing district and an excellent community. I hope my leadership can keep us on this course and rise to a higher level.”
In his public presentation Feb. 19 and in his comments after getting the job, Theroux stressed his past accomplishments were not his alone but the work of a team and he plans to be a team leader when he sits in the superintendent’s office.
One of those accomplishments he spoke about was part of a construction project as interim superintendent of the Princeton City School District, a post he held for a year 2014-15. He said when he came into the position, that $131 million project to build a new middle/high school was over budget, but it was brought back under budget and the savings was used to provide lighting for a ball field.
“The team worked together — administration, staff and construction company,” he said. “It’s a we process.”
He also pointed to efforts to work with a coalition of city, county, school district, police and fire departments and clergy to deal with violence in the Lincoln Heights part of the Princeton District where school windows were shot out and buses set on fire.
“We were meeting at least once a week,” he said.
With public and staff meetings planned in April and May to talk about plans for the new Marshall Elementary building, Theroux will not yet be officially on duty here, but said he plans to be as much a part of the discussion as possible.
Theroux grew up in Connecticut and earned his bachelor of science degree in special education from the University of Connecticut with a master’s degree in consultation and collaboration from Southern Connecticut University.
His first job, however, took him far from home as he was an elementary-high school special education teacher in Hawaii for seven years. He worked in Alabama and Connecticut before locating in Cincinnati where he worked in the Princeton district from 2000 to 2015 before taking his current job with Great Oaks Career Campuses. With Princeton his various posts included elementary principal, grade level principal in middle school and director of student services in addition to associate superintendent and interim superintendent.
In his current position, he supervises special education at four campuses and collaborates with 32 affiliated school districts.
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