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Upper Arlington Schools Superintendent Paul Imhoff has been selected as the 2018 Ohio Superintendent of the Year. The award, to be presented on December 12 by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), recognizes Imhoff for his leadership and career of supporting the needs of students across the state.
“Paul is a leader among leaders,” said Gail Kist-Kline, the superintendent of Mason City Schools and one of the people who supported Imhoff for the award.
Imhoff has 20 years of experience as a school administrator. He became the superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools in 2013 after serving as the superintendent of Mariemont City Schools, the assistant superintendent of Madeira City Schools and a building administrator in multiple Ohio districts.
“I have always believed that education is more than a profession — it is a calling,” said Imhoff. “I can think of no greater honor than to be part of a school community that does everything possible to inspire all students to reach their full potential. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the special teachers who believed in me more than I believed in myself. I am in their debt, and I have a responsibility to give back.”
During his time in Upper Arlington, Imhoff has led the effort to reinvent the strategic planning process for the district. The innovative new hybrid planning process incorporated the best from private-sector and public-sector models and included thousands of points of contact with the community. The result is a focused, results-oriented plan with measurable goals.
As the district works to fulfill those goals, it has implemented a one-to-one technology plan for students in all grade levels. In addition, Imhoff worked with the Upper Arlington Board of Education to conduct a two-and-a-half-year community-driven master planning process for its facilities. As a result of that process, the Upper Arlington community will be building a new high school and renovating or rebuilding all five elementary schools during the next four years.
“Paul is truly a visionary,” said Board of Education President Robin Comfort. “He understands our community’s unparalleled legacy of support for public education and is committed to keeping our district a national leader in education.”
In addition to his role in Upper Arlington, Imhoff serves on the board of directors for Ohio Humanities. He is also the chairperson for the Alliance for High Quality Education and a member of the board of directors for the Midwest Suburban Superintendents Association. This past spring, he was elected to a three-year term on the executive committee of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. He is the first representative from Ohio to serve on that committee in more than 20 years.
Imhoff is also a founding member of The Stand Project, a drug and alcohol prevention coalition that brings together representatives from across the Upper Arlington community.
“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with such a charismatic and kind leader,” said fellow Stand Project member and Board of Education member Stacey Royer. “His compassion and empathy come through in everything he does.”
Kist-Kline summarized Imhoff’s work by saying, “He makes public schools a better place for students, families and communities.”