Olentangy superintendent announces retirement


After 20 years of service to the Olentangy Local School District (OLSD), Superintendent Mark Raiff is set to retire at the end of the school year.

The district announced Raiff’s resignation for the purpose of retirement in a press release on Wednesday, and during Thursday’s meeting of the Olentangy Schools Board of Education, the board accepted his resignation. The resignation is effective July 31.

Raiff came to the district in 2003 as the assistant principal at Olentangy High School before transitioning into roles as the principal at Olentangy Liberty High School and then the district’s chief academic officer beginning in 2011. In 2015, he was selected to serve as the district’s next superintendent and has held the position for the past eight years.

Prior to coming to Olentangy, Raiff served in principal capacities at Bexley High School, Westerville South High School and Westerville Central High School.

During his time as the superintendent of OLSD, Raiff oversaw the passing of two levies and the building of three new school buildings as Olentangy grew to the fourth-largest school district in the state. He was also at the helm of the district’s efforts to navigate the unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although we approached Mr. Raiff several times to extend his superintendent contract, we understand and respect his decision to retire at the end of this school year and wish him the best,” said Board President Kevin O’Brien in the release. “Mr. Raiff’s knowledge, forward-thinking approach, and commitment to our district’s mission to facilitate maximum learning has allowed Olentangy Schools to remain a top academically performing school district through some of our most challenging times. He will leave a legacy at Olentangy that he and his family should be proud of.”

Olentangy Teachers Association President Elaine Eddy added, “Mr. Raiff has modeled leadership, courage, and professionalism for all of Olentangy. Because of his positive, steadfast approach and innate ability to connect to all Olentangy stakeholders — students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members – Mr. Raiff has always made our school district feel like a small, united ‘One Olentangy’ community.”

Raiff reflected on his career in school administration in a tear-filled address during Thursday’s meeting, which included thanking the many people he’s worked with through the years.

He concluded by saying, “Some of you know that I’m actually a fan of Broadway musicals, and if you didn’t, I’m sure you’re surprised to hear that. One of my favorites is ‘Wicked’ because I love the song, ‘For Good.’ I always requested it from our choir director, Doug O’Neal, to have it as the commencement song while I was the principal at Liberty because I love the line, ‘Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.’

“I think it captured the relationship I wanted to have with my students, my staff and our community. So, in closing, because I knew all of you, I have been changed for good. And I hope you feel the same.”

As part of the board president’s report during the meeting, O’Brien said the search for a new superintendent is one that “will typically take two to three months” with a targeted timeline of early April for completion of the process. The district will hire a firm to assist the hiring committee, which will be comprised of key stakeholders, with the candidate search.

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