New Albany – Plain Local Schools announces the selection of Michael Sawyers as the Chief of Operations and Strategic Development. The position has been restructured from the previous director of operations and planning to include current responsibilities in the oversight of all campus operations, security and safety, capital planning and construction, coordination with city/township and public services, as well as expanded responsibilities including greater involvement in business process and performance management, human resources systems and quality metrics and processes.
“As with every transition, we are constantly evaluating how restructuring our work can accelerate and focus our efforts on attaining our mission and vision,” said Superintendent April Domine. “In this new role, Michael will be working to help us across all areas of the organization to lead strategic goals and initiatives for enhanced performance and efficiency so we can achieve our mission and vision. And of course, He will play a key role in leading our work to develop an innovative high performance student centered learning environment through the construction of our new school facilities. We are thrilled to have a professional of Michael’s expertise and experience joining our team. ”
Sawyers brings to the district over 20 years of experience working in education having served most recently as the Acting Superintendent for Public Instruction leading the Ohio Department of Education. Prior to that role Sawyers served as Deputy Superintendent at ODE and Assistant Superintendent for the Race to the Top (RttT) Federal Program, the post he held when he originally began his career at ODE in 2010. Throughout his career, Sawyers has served in nearly every role in a school building and school district, from classroom teacher to district superintendent.
“Michael will be an instrumental member of our administrative leadership team as we continue our journey to reinvent education,” said Board President Laura Kohler. “We are incredibly fortunate as a district to have attracted someone of his caliber and experience in serving schools across the state.”
Sawyers will bring experience as both a district and state superintendent to NAPLS. His strong understanding of policy development and implementation gained at the state level will be a tremendous benefit to the district. These are skills needed in this restructured position and not typical of the role of a traditional business manager. Additionally, Sawyers will bring an awareness of the future of education both at the state and federal level regarding the introduction of innovative learning and enhanced district operations.
“As a district we carried out a deliberative and thoughtful process to identify and secure the necessary leadership to fill this re-envisioned role,” said Superintendent Domine. “Michael will be an effective partner in our work to continue moving the district forward. His skills will add to the team we have developed with our new Treasurer, Becky Jenkins and our Chief of Innovation, Improvement and Human Capital, Marilyn Troyer. Together with our leadership team, we continue to demonstrate to the public our commitment to reinventing education while advancing innovation and improving services and operations.”
In 2008, Sawyers became a graduate of the Ohio School Leadership Academy. He also has been an instructor with the Ohio Principal’s Leadership Academy and has completed postgraduate coursework in Educational Administration and Leadership. He has a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in education, both from the University of Akron.
Sawyers hire is slated for board approval at the March 18 meeting.
Additional background on Michael Sawyers
Sawyers joined ODE in 2010 as Assistant Superintendent, when the state was named as a recipient of RttT funding. Before that, he served as superintendent of the Perry Local School District in Lake County for five years. He also served as director of human resources in the Cleveland HeightsUniversity Heights City Schools, director of curriculum and instruction, principal, deputy principal and assistant principal in Parma City Schools. He began his career as a Spanish teacher.
Sawyers has extensive experience and training in educational leadership. His responsibilities include identifying and targeting areas of research and reform specific to education in Ohio. From 2002 to 2005, he was a coach, facilitator and instructor for FirstRing Leadership Academy at Cleveland State University. There, he facilitated a cohort of aspiring or practicing principals on the importance of educational leadership.