Wednesday, June 16, 1999

Wayne schools selecting chief

Expected choice is 'child-centered'

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WAYNESVILLE — Tom Isaacs hates desk jobs.

        That's why he doesn't want to spend too much time behind his as new superintendent of Wayne Local School District.

        “I really believe that schools exist exclusively for kids, and decisions we make have to be for them,” Mr. Isaacs said Tuesday. “I just love the opportunity to interact with kids every day. As much as I possibly can, I want to be visible at all school buildings, at all school events.”

        The Wayne Board of Education is expected to vote Friday to name Mr. Isaacs superintendent of the district of about 1,200 students, said John Lazares, superintendent of the Warren County Educational Service Center, who coordinated the superintendent search.

        Mr. Isaacs, 38, is principal at Valley View High School in Germantown in Preble County, a post he has held for three years. He will begin his new post Aug. 1 and will earn $78,000.

        He replaces Charles Williams, the district's longest- serving superintendent, who announced his retirement in March after 15 years with the district.

        “He brings a lot of enthusiasm, leadership abilities; he's energetic,” Mr. Lazares said. “He's very child-centered. He's the type of administrator who likes to be visible in the buildings and community.”

        Mr. Isaacs began his career in education with a seven-year teaching stint at Hamilton's Wilson Junior High School.

        He hails from Hamilton, where he was a graduate of Garfield High School. He later received bachelor's and master's degrees from Miami University in Oxford.

        Mr. Isaacs joined the administrative ranks in 1990 as a middle school principal with Twin Valley School District in West Alexandria in Preble County. He also served as an elementary and high school principal during his six-year tenure with the district.

        He has always aspired to become a superintendent, particularly in a rural or suburban district where he thinks community and family values still play a part in education.

        “It's obvious the community has a great deal of pride in the school district,” he said.

        He plans to meet with residents and employees as soon as possible. “I see myself as a superintendent working for the community and reinforcing the values they have about education,” he said.

        Mr. Isaacs said he will focus on state-mandated report cards because all districts are “under the gun” to improve scores.

        “I don't see any sweeping changes,” he said.

        He and his wife, Pam, live on a 60-acre farm in Preble County where they are raising three children: Stephanie, 11, Tammi, 9, and Tommy, 5 months.

        When the buses roll in on the first day of school, Mr. Isaacs plans to be there greeting students.


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- Wayne schools selecting chief