St. Marys Superintendent Resigns

ST. MARYS — A local district official announced her resignation during a special meeting of the board of education held Friday.

In a meeting that included districtwide cuts for every employee of the St. Marys City School District, Superintendent Mary Riepenhoff also said she will be leaving for another job this fall. Members of the St. Marys Board of Education approved the resignation of Riepenhoff as superintendent, effective Aug. 31.

“I will be taking a new position with the Race to the Top initiative,” Riepenhoff told board members. “I will start Sept. 1, 2011.”

Riepenhoff requested the board include her letter of resignation in the meeting minutes, which board members approved, and read the letter, in which she thanked the district for the experience.

Riepenhoff, who was hired as St. Marys superintendent in 2008, said she started interviewing for the position in February.

“My position will be titled a ‘regional specialist’ for the Race to the Top initiative in Ohio,” she said.

As a regional specialist, Riepenhoff said she will “meet with Race to the Top districts and facilitate their race to the top.”

“Race to the Top is a federal initiative,” she said. “Each state in the country had to meet guidelines to be considered a Race to the Top state — Ohio met those guidelines by the number of states that signed up. It set what the scope of improvement is going to look like, and set up guidelines for the Race to the Top schools to meet their goals.”

Riepenhoff said she has described herself as an “educational geek,” something this position will enhance.

“This is going to allow me to be a true educational geek,” she said. “I am excited about being on the front edge of what Race to the Top is all about and improving Ohio schools.”

Before she leaves for the position, Riepenhoff said she will tie up loose ends with the St. Marys City Schools.

“I will get the last year wrapped up and the new year planned to begin,” she said.

Riepenhoff also commented on her experience in St. Marys.

“It’s been a pleasure to work here,” she said. “I think we’ve made an enormous amount of progress in just three years.”

She noted for what she was proud of the St. Marys staff.

“I am most proud of the staff for, obviously, the big move, the realignment, the focus on students with special needs,” she said. “Their big task, and what they’re doing an excellent job on now, is the curriculum alignment and creation of common assessments.”

In other business, board members also:

• Accepted personnel items.

• Awarded the bid to Miami-Erie Contractors for the locker room project.