Madison-Plains School District Superintendent Tim Dettwiller publicly announced his resignation at the district’s board of education meeting Tuesday evening.
He has been superintendent since August 2014, and served as the district’s treasurer/chief financial officer for four years prior to that.
Dettwiller had been receiving pressure to step down from the position from some vocal parents criticizing his decision regarding the handling of accusations made by three middle school girls. Allegations of “inappropriate touching” were leveled at a substitute teacher who also performed as a boys’ basketball coach.
The allegations were first brought to the attention of Dettwiller on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 26. The point of contention for some parents is that Dettwiller made the decision allowing the substitute to perform his coaching duties that same night and at a game on Saturday while still under investigation.
Reading from his letter of resignation, the superintendent emotionally addressed the packed room:
“Members of the board, it is with both sorrow and excitement that I offer to you notice of my pending resignation due to retirement from the position of superintendent at Madison-Plains Local Schools. Spending the last seven years of my professional life working towards making Madison-Plains the educational choice for parents in central Ohio, has been the great joy of my professional career. We have accomplished so much, most notably increasing student enrollment and meeting our student growth targets as defined within our Madison-Plains improvement plan. These goals were met on time and laid the groundwork now for Madison-Plains to direct its improvement energy to increasing student achievement. The sorrow I feel comes from all the challenges Madison-Plains faces that I will not be able to work toward meeting. I am, however, excited to begin my retirement and seek out new professional challenges. I thank the current Madison-Plains Board of Education as well the boards I have served since 2010. I would also like to personally thank Boone Hall, Vicki Blosser, and all those I have worked with over the years as part of the Madison-Plains family. My last day of service as Madison-Plains Superintendent of Schools will be July 6, 2018.”
Dettwiller then admonished the crowd to channel the energy that he perceived some had been spending as accusers, into getting the levy passed this spring.
“Folks that have keyboard courage, that feel they can pressure people to make decisions — they need to get involved, actively involved, not after the fact. We have a levy that has to get passed. This district will not survive as it is today if we don’t pass this levy,” he said. “Those people that have been passionate out there calling for my resignation and other people’s resignation, they need to use those skills they’ve honed in social media to go out there and get this levy passed.”
He concluded by saying that he would work hard to get the levy passed, and hoped those people previously mentioned would do the same.
The crowd reaction was divided, with some audience members applauding while others remained silent.
And while Dettwiller’s resignation might have been fraught with the most emotion, it was not the only one tendered at the meeting.
Also publicly announcing his resignation was Joe Penney, Director of Operations.
Penney has been with the district for 11 years, starting out in the position of Director of Technology before moving into his current directorship.
Penney’s stated reason for leaving is that he accepted employment with Fairfield City Schools, one of the largest school districts in the state.
His last date of employment with Madison-Plains is April 30.
Also at this meeting, the board recognized on behalf of Steve Stivers, the congressional student of the month.
Senior, Gage Farmer, is well-known for his intelligence and works extremely hard on his academics, striving for nothing less than excellence.
As an ardent supporter of the Golden Eagles, he cheers the teams on from the sidelines as a member of the jazz, marching, and honor bands in which he plays alto saxophone.
Farmer is also known for engaging faculty and administration in debates in a very professional manner.
Four younger students were recognized with the “Rising Eagle” honor, as well (none of which were in attendance).
Rising Eagle Students are noted for “high-fiving” the high school basketball players and detailing their scholastic and personal achievements to the crowds during halftimes.
The four being recognized were: Savannah Miller (first grade); Jaylen Martin (second grade); Tara Nagel (fourth grade); and Colton Willing (fifth grade).
The first annual Math Camp will be held this coming Friday at the intermediate building from 3-8:30 p.m.
The camp is open to students in third through sixth grades and is free of charge.
Students will rotate through 10 stations of various activities to learn different concepts of geometry.
So far, 150 students have signed up and 25 faculty members have signed on to volunteer their time.
Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.
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