Departing Bucyrus school superintendent Matt Chrispin said he's pleased with the progress the district has made under his leadership.
At a special meeting Thursday, the Bucyrus City Schools Board of Education formally accepted Chrispin's resignation, effective Aug. 1. He has accepted an interim superintendent position at Bethel Local Schools, about 15 miles north of Dayton.
"The thing I'm most excited about is what will come out in the grade card this fall," Chrispin said Thursday. "Our graduation rate, while it's still not where it needs to be, is the highest since the 2008-2009 school year."
It's posted on a window outside Chrispin's office: "90.4% four-year graduation rate. First time BHS has been 90+ since 2008-09."
"Then our performance index —which is how many kids were advanced, how many accelerated, how many proficient, limited, basic — that number jumped 4½ points," he added. "We haven't had that kind of a jump for about seven years. So it's a good data point in the right direction."
It's a start the district can build upon, he said. "They're heading where they need to. So very happy about that."
Chrispin joined the district before the start of the 2019 school year. Prior to that, he served as superintendent of the Fredericktown Local School District.
Why is Chrispin leaving Bucyrus?
"I'm more of a hill-climber than I am a stay at the top of the mountain-type person, and I knew that had come open," he said of the Bethel job. He spoke with representatives of K-12 Business Consulting about the position. "And they're like, it might be a good fit for your talents and what you're looking for. Did my homework and put my application in."
According to a news release on the Bethel Local Schools website, that district's board of education has contracted with K-12 to lead a comprehensive search for its new superintendent for the 2023-2024 school year.
Chrispin said he's spoken with Bethel officials and is "excited about the challenges there."
He offered a little advice for his successor.
"It's a great staff. A very caring staff. Work hard to assimilate, and become a Bucyrus Redman. And enjoy the experience. Make sure you get a Carle's brat, right? And hit Baker's," he said, chuckling.
"The table's set; we've got a great administrative team," he added. "Things were pretty chaotic that first year and we really solidified our building principals and our coordinators ... those folks have got a couple years under their belt in here in Bucyrus and that's a good thing. It's a little more solid spot to be in than when I found it.
"That administrative team, in August of 2019, there were 13 of us around the table and 10 of us were brand new to the district."
One other administrator is leaving Bucyrus this summer: Kimberly Radulovich, who served as secondary school principal for two years and then served as director of curriculum and instruction. She is leaving to become superintendent of Walnut Township Local Schools, east of Columbus, Chrispin said.
Chrispin thanked the Bucyrus community.
"Thank you for allowing me to serve a great district," he said. "It was a time of change and a lot of uncertainties, and then the pandemic hit. But everyone was really great to work with. There's a great tradition here, and it's been great to be part of it."
This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: Departing Bucyrus superintendent touts improved graduation rate