Delaware City Schools Assistant Superintendent Craig Heath announced earlier this month he is leaving the district to take a superintendent position in northeastern Ohio.

Heath, who has been the assistant superintendent since 2019, will leave the district at the end of July to become the new superintendent of Mentor Public Schools.

Heath said Tuesday he grew up in northeast Ohio about 15 minutes away from Mentor and never expected to get the position.

“When their superintendent position came open, I really was not looking to make any moves. I’m quite happy here in Delaware, it’s a great spot and a great district,” Heath said. “But with this one, it was one of those things that I felt like it wasn’t going to come open ever again in my career, so I wanted to go through the process and see if I was the right fit. It was just the right fit at the right time.”

Heath said he’s thankful for his time in Delaware and will miss the relationships he has built. He also added he will miss not being able to witness his work and goals come to fruition.

“I’m going to miss the people here,” Heath said. “From an educational standpoint, we’ve come so far in shifting instruction and curriculum in the three years I’ve been here. Part of that was forced on us by the pandemic. … But to be able to lead such a good group of teachers and administrators through a transition to fully-remote learning and then developing a hybrid model of instruction and then this year being able to set up a curriculum review process, which is an integral part of the strategic plan … that’s part of the fun work we were able to get accomplished this year. I won’t be here for the full implementation of that but being able to watch from afar is going to be a fun piece for me.”

Heath said he’s also proud of the joint summer academy the district hosted with Buckeye Valley Local Schools last year and added one of his proudest moments was taking part in this year’s graduation ceremony.

“In my three years that group of seniors this year went through so much,” Heath said. “Being able to watch that group graduate was one of the highlights as well. It’s something I’ll always remember.”

At press time Tuesday, the Mentor Public Schools Board of Education planned to formally approve Heath for the position during its Tuesday evening meeting. His first day with Mentor Public Schools is Aug. 1.

Heath said he’s looking forward to taking charge of the district.

“It will be fun to really set the vision and overall educational plan for the entire district,” he said. “I’m able to do that a little bit as the assistant superintendent. … Being able to lead every aspect of the district is the most intriguing part about that superintendent spot. Being able to have an influence over what that culture is going to be and how we can best set up a personalized education system for kids. That’s the fun part for me.”

On Tuesday, Superintendent Heidi Kegley said Heath will be missed.

“We are incredibly grateful for the leadership that Mr. Heath has brought to our district,” Kegley said. “His impact on our district will be evident as we implement our strategic plan. We are certainly disappointed to lose him but wish him all the best as he embarks on a new journey in northeast Ohio. We are confident that the curriculum team is poised to continue the important work that has been started that will move our district forward.”

The district said the job posting for the assistant superintendent position has been posted, and the team will be reviewing applications and scheduling interviews in “the very near future.”

“I’ve had a great three years here in Delaware,” Heath said. “I’ve learned so much not just from the schools but from the community as well. To be able to work collaboratively with some of the business and industry partners that we have, with some of the civic organizations that we have, and with the social services that we have … those are things you just don’t see in every district out there. That’s what I’m taking away with me the most … that personal touch we have here in Delaware.”

Delaware City Schools Assistant Superintendent Craig Heath takes a photo with Adrianna Rich, left, and Alex Ritter, right, during Hayes High School’s 2022 Graduation Ceremony at Cornell Stadium last month. City Schools Assistant Superintendent Craig Heath takes a photo with Adrianna Rich, left, and Alex Ritter, right, during Hayes High School’s 2022 Graduation Ceremony at Cornell Stadium last month. Courtesy photo

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.