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Poland school board picks Hockenberry as new chief

POLAND — A new superintendent has been named for the Poland Local School District.

In an announcement made Friday on the district’s website, Craig Hockenberry has been selected and will be formally hired during a special board of education meeting Monday.

Hockenberry was one of seven semifinalists in a search lead by Finding Leaders, the firm hired by Poland schools.

Ultimate-ly, the selection was narrowed to Hockenberry and Jude Meyers, superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools.

Hockenberry most recently worked as superintendent of Three Rivers Local School District in Hamilton County near Cincinnati, a district with 2,500 students. He served in that role for six years.

Prior to that, Hockenberry was superintendent of Manchester Local Schools in Adams County from 2013 until 2015.

Hockenberry’s knowledge and skill set will keep the district on a successful path, according to a statement from the school board.

He has experience in creating career academies, opening and developing models for community learning centers, expanding community partnerships, district strategic planning, overseeing multi-million dollar construction projects and bringing essential services to students.

“Mr. Hockenberry is inheriting a school district of excellence. His leadership and experience will help advance the Poland Local Schools to continued academic success,” stated board president Gregg Riddle.

Twenty-four candidates applied for the position, with Finding Leaders helping to narrow the choices.

Beginning his career as an elementary school teacher, Hockenberry has been named administrator and principal of the year while at Cincinnati Public Schools.

Hockenberry also was part of the award-winning National Public Radio documentary, “Oyler One School, One Year.”

In a unanimous vote in February, board members chose to enter into a contract for $15,000 with Finding Leaders of the Cleveland area to guide the district in the process of finding a new superintendent.

Former Superintendent David Janofa announced in October his intent to retire, staying on as a special assistant to Dr. Edwin Holland who served in the interim. Janofa was with the district for eight years.

The board anticipated having a new candidate selected prior to Aug. 1.

To keep the process transparent, a stakeholders group of teachers, support staff, students, district administration and community members was formed, interviewing the two finalists.

Once two interviews with both Hockenberry and Meyers, one with the stakeholders, were complete, the board of education held a third interview with each.

The new, permanent leader graduated from Mount St. Joseph University in Ohio in 1995 with an undergraduate degree in elementary education. Hockenberry then obtained his master’s degree in educational administration from Xavier University.

Later, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Mount St. Joseph, delivering the commencement address in 2013.

Hockenberry is married to wife Erin. Together they have three children: Rocco, Gino and Vivian.

afox@vindy.com

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