Dettwiller ‘Super’

By Dean Shipley

July 16, 2014

Moving like a motivated wrestler, the Madison-Plains Board of Education (BOE) “pinned down” their man as the next superintendent. And it only had to look as far as its own backyard.

The BOE unanimously selected current treasurer/CFO, Tim Dettwiller, as the next superintendent of schools, effective Tuesday, Aug. 12, it was announced Tuesday evening, July 15 during its regular meeting.

Of the three candidates for the position, to be vacated by Bernie Hall Aug. 11, Dettwiller was the clear choice said Kelly Cooley, BOE president.

In the work session prior to the vote by the BOE, board members commented on their apparent choice for the next superintendent.

“Tim’s our best choice,” said David Hunter. “He’s helped lead the district. He set up the 10-year plan. He keeps things on track and has a vision for what we support.”

Mike Datz said Dettwiller “wants to take ownership for where the district wants to go. He’s excited. He wants to get started.”

Ken Morlock said Dettwiller not only knows the history of the district he also brings fresh ideas. “He understands the community’s concerns and is willing to work with the community.”

Bob Butz said he has worked with Dettwiller and found him to be detail oriented. “Tim’s the man for the job,” he said.

In her statement, BOE president Kelly Cooley said, “Tim has such a profound understanding of the district and its needs. As a board, we believe he is just the right person to move the district forward at such a pivotal point. This is truly an exciting opportunity for Madison-Plains.”

Responding to the board’s remarks, Dettwiller, showing his “true” colors in a gold shirt and green tie, said, the new role is a great opportunity for himself and his family.

“This district is on the cusp of something great. We’ve got the groundwork. Everything is in place. We need to get to the next level. We have a great staff that needs direction.”

He called the education process a partnership between the students, their parents and the school. “It’s a constant thing we have to work on together,” he said.

Continuing her remarks, Cooley said Dettwiller’s ability to lead, build relationships and think critically and identify solutions “is quite remarkable.”

“He is eager to push the envelope to effect change across the board that will enable the district to exceed the community’s expectations and those demanded by the state.”

As treasurer, Dettwiller authored the district’s 10-year plan, unique among district financial planning models. He identified a number of “critical cost-savings measures such as an early retirement incentive plan and a cap on insurance contributions and has received awards from the State Auditor’s office for his financial reporting,” it said in a release.

“Tim has demonstrated superb business acumen by completely overhauling the district’s finances to drive Madison-Plains to one of its soundest financial positions ever,” Cooley said. “We are confident he will build on that momentum to grow the district’s capacity for success as we move forward.”

Dettwiller said he will set his focus on using student performance data to make changes in classroom practices and instruction that spur achievement, provide training and development for teachers and staff to improve their skills, and continue his work to build positive relationships across the community.

“We have a mandate from our parents and community to improve academic growth to prepare our students for success in our classrooms and life after they graduate,” he said. “We have a lot of work to get done, and I am ready to shift perspectives and lead the district from the other side of the table.”

One of Dettwiller’s first priorities will be hiring a replacement for long-time Madison-Plains High School Principal Chris Clark who resigned earlier this month to take superintendent position in his home district of Black River in northern Ohio.

Dettwiller has a Master of Arts in educational administration from Ashland University and a bachelor’s in accounting and business management from Wilmington College.

He has twice served as Madison-Plains as treasurer, first, from 2000-01 and again since 2010. He served also as treasurer/CFO of Springboro Community Schools and a deputy auditor for the state for more than a decade.

Cooley said while academics will continue to be our focus Dettwiller hopes to invigorate our arts and athletic programs by seeking the creation of improvement plans with specific goals and expectations for our sports and music programs. With more than 15 years as a wrestling coach, Dettwiller has clearly demonstrated his drive and determination for excellence. A former three time wrestling national qualifier for Wilmington College, he coached three state qualifiers and six league champions as the varsity coach for McClain.

Tim and his wife Robin, who is a teacher in the district, have four children and one grandchild. The Dettwillers reside in Mount Sterling.

Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617, or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.