Willard City Schools Superintendent Jeff Ritz is one of five finalists for the Perkins Local Schools job, but he said Friday morning he is staying put.
“They recruited me,” Ritz said. “I’m not going. I was not offered the job. I think they just finished the first round (of interviews) last (Thursday) night.
“I have a great job here. I have a great community and I love my job here. We are moving in the right direction.”
Willard is finishing the third year in its new school and Ritz pointed out the building not only is for the students, but for the entire community.
“Our community continues to invest in the schools and we have a bright future,” he said. “We took a big stride this year in welcoming our veterans and we look forward to working with the community and veterans. The usage by the community has grown with the help of our city leaders.
“We have a long ways to go. We have to build a culture of community support and that rests with me.”
Ritz said when the new school was built a survey was done concerning the future growth in the school district
“They look at birth rates. They look at jobs. They had us to continue to shrink,” Ritz said. “With the new building we have maintained and actually this year we started with more students than last year.
“What makes Willard different than most communities is our migrant population. Our numbers can fluxuate as many as 200 students a year. We are the largest migrant school in the state of Ohio. On average they leave in November and come back in May. Many of them are the same students but we get different migrants every year.”
Ritz started at Willard in 2003 as high school principal and he is completing his sixth year as superintendent.
“The community has been very good to me and for me,” he said. “I was blessed that Denny (Doughty) and Dave (Danhoff) left me with a quality staff.”
What is next for the Willard schools?
“I would to say to keep improving our culture with the community,” he said. “With the work that we have done this year to deter bullying has only started.
“That is going to be an ongoing issue for us.”