Ritz recently received the Saluting Exemplary Education Leadership award from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the state superintendent association. In order to qualify, a superintendent must be nominated by another superintendent in his or her region.
Recipients, according to the award, should have outstanding educational leadership “which has resulted in the enhancement and improvement of educational opportunities for the elementary and secondary students of Ohio.”
Ritz said he’s not sure who nominated him, but said he doesn’t feel comfortable accepting the award solely on his own behalf.
“It’s an award for the whole educational staff I feel,” he said.
“I’m going to say (we received the award) because of the great things that our educational leaders do in our school system. I’m very happy and very proud and there are great things in the future for them.”
Ritz said the first thing comes to mind when considering what specific accomplishment would have earned the nomination is “the culture change” about bullying the district has striven for over the past two years.
“(I’m) very happy with the implementation of our culture change and with the amount of time and effort that’s gone into trying to change our attitude toward bullying. And how that (change) has effected the education of our students and the staff — all of the benefits of culture changes,” he said.
Ritz said the team always is focusing on implementing “educational learning strategies,” meaning even the principals and other administrators are receiving education on how to be the best educational leaders. He said they then pass that instruction onto the teachers.
“We have the teachers with the Leader in Me program and its implementation in the elementary school and the anti-bullying curriculum at the middle school and the mentoring at the high school level. Everyone’s doing a great job of improving the culture and in turn that will improve our district.
“This award, it’s because of them,” he said.