Mr. Craig Hockenberry has been selected as the new Superintendent of the Poland Local Schools. The Board of Education has called a Special Meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 10th, to officially hire Mr. Hockenberry.
Mr. Hockenberry was born and raised in Northeast Ohio and has several connections to the Poland area. He brings more than two decades of educational experience to the Poland Local Schools. He has served in different leadership roles from teacher, assistant principal, principal and superintendent through various settings-rural, suburban and urban school districts throughout Ohio.
Mr. Gregg Riddle, President of the Board of Education stated, “Mr. Hockenberry is inheriting a school district of excellence. His leadership and experience will help advance the Poland Local Schools to continued academic success.”
Mr. Hockenberry served as the Superintendent of Three Rivers Local School District in Hamilton County, Ohio, a district with close to 2,500 students. He was the superintendent at Three Rivers for six years. Before that he was the Superintendent of Manchester Local Schools in Adams County, Ohio, a district with 1,000 students from 2013-2015. He began his administrative career in Cincinnati Public Schools as an assistant principal and principal of an elementary, middle and high school. During his tenure at the Oyler School, he was instrumental in an academic turnaround for the school, emerging from academic emergency to continuous improvement.
Mr. Hockenberry 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.
Throughout his tenure at Cincinnati Public Schools, Mr. Hockenberry has been named Administrator and Principal of the year. He was also part of a National Public Radio award-winning documentary, Oyler One School, One Year.
Mr. Hockenberry graduated from Mount St. Joseph in 1995 with an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education. He received his graduate degree in Educational Administration from Xavier University. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of Mount St. Joseph and delivered the 2013 commencement address. Before starting his career in administration he was an elementary school teacher. Craig and his wife Erin have three children: Rocco, Gino and Vivian.
Community engagement, transparency and due diligence were three of the main components guiding the Poland Board of Education in naming a new superintendent. Finding a leader with superintendent experience who will honor the district’s traditions, while preparing students for the future were key attributes the board sought in its search for a new superintendent. The Poland Local School District is at a critical juncture with building realignment, Covid-19 mandates and future planning.
THE SEARCH PROCESS
· Working with Finding Leaders, the Board of Education started a National Search in March of 2021 to find a new superintendent.
· Finding Leaders engaged the community and district staff through community forums to find out what Poland wanted to see in its next superintendent-this feedback helped Finding Leaders develop its district profile.
· A field of twenty four candidates applied for the job and Finding Leaders narrowed the pool of candidates.
· Seven candidates were interviewed by the Board of Education.
· From the seven candidates the Board of Education narrowed the selection to two finalists-Craig Hockenberry and Jude Meyers.
PROCESS FOR FINALIST
Maintaining transparency with the community in the search for a new superintendent has been paramount for the Board of Education. A stakeholders group was formed to ensure the Poland community was represented in the search and their input was greatly valued. The stakeholders group was made up of the following: teachers, support staff members, community members, students and district administration. The stakeholders group interviewed the two finalists for superintendent and provided their feedback. The Board of Education also conducted a third interview with the two finalists.
The Board of Education conducted its own due diligence in finding the district’s new superintendent. Board members contacted both previous and current employers, specifically inquiring about leadership. Educational Service Center Superintendents were also contacted.