The new superintendent of the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities is still adjusting to the her new job, but said she is already impressed with Delaware County.
Kristina Hodge has only been the superintendent of the board for eight weeks but said she has seen a lot of support for the board’s work in Delaware County.
“I’ve found the community to be very welcoming,” Hodge said. “We have the luxury of having a passionate and professional staff, excellent programs and a community that embraces what we do. There are a lot of unique programs and services here that have been supported by the community.”
Hodge said the positive relationship with the community is due to the leadership of former superintendent Robert Morgan, who retired in May after serving with the board for more than 30 years.
“The success of the previous administration allows us to continue to move forward and focus on the future,” Hodge said. “We don’t want to be stagnant, we want to continue moving forward with programs and services that promote the same sense of community for people with disabilities that we all have.”
Hodge said establishing local relationships is crucial. Hodge said she has been reaching out to the individuals served by the Board of Developmental Disabilities and staff, and that extends to businesses, local government and community partners.
“I put people first on all levels,” Hodge said. “My goal is to foster a culture that supports and understands the importance of relationships.”
Hodge said she will also be assessing what happens in and around the Board of Developmental Disabilities.
“My focus is to continue to offer the very best we can to individuals and families,” Hodge said. “As a superintendent, I always look at how decisions will impact the people we serve.”
Hodge said she is also setting strategic priorities for the future.
The top priority is to promoting community integration for people served by the Board of Developmental Disabilities.
“We believe that community integration should happen where we all live work and play,” Hodge said. “There are no differences between the people we serve and us.”
Hodge previously worked at the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities. She said she has worked in the human services field for more than 20 years, including the last 12 at the Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Hodge said she is all about family and her daughter has wasted no time finding new friends and activities.
“I’m so happy to be part of Delaware,” Hodge said.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.