Where in the world is Dr. Robert Hunt?
This fall, you could find the new superintendent of the Upper Arlington Schools traveling all around Upper Arlington — from school to school — for his “UAdventure” series. He has spent a full day in each building to get to know each unique school community and hear from students, staff members and parents/guardians about what they value in their school and what they’d like to see improve.
“As the new superintendent, I believe it’s important to build relationships in our schools and our community,” Dr. Hunt shared. “I knew that in Upper Arlington I needed to do something a little different — something that left me with a deep impression of our school communities. By embedding myself in each school, I have been able to listen to our students, staff and families and really learn what it means to be part of that school community.”
This fall, you could find Dr. Hunt sitting on the carpet for morning meetings and read-alouds at the elementary level, singing (somewhat reluctantly) in music classes or jumping into the day’s activity in PE classes, and serving lunch with a smile in the cafeteria. Most importantly, drawing inspiration from the Board of Education’s Listen Learn Lead community engagement process, Dr. Hunt has spent a significant amount of time on each visit meeting with students, staff members and parents/guardians — likely numbering in the thousands in total.
In just three visits as of the end of September, he had already gathered feedback from more than 400 students, staff members and parents/guardians in the district. And, as of late October, he had heard from nearly 900 stakeholders, and there are still more opportunities to meet with the UA Online Academy and other departments that serve the school district.
“What has really stood out to me so far is that the people are what makes our schools so special, and that has been a common thread as I go from school to school,” Dr. Hunt shared. “While academics are at the core of what we do, the relationships that make our school communities so unique are really at the heart of it all for so many people.”
Woven into the “UAdventure” series were opportunities to meet with another group of important stakeholders — community members. On October 24 and 26, Dr. Hunt hosted two community Coffee & Conversation events at the Kingsdale Market District as an extension of the “UAdventure” series.
Following the conclusion of his UAdventure travels, Dr. Hunt will share a summary of what he has learned to date at a community town hall meeting on November 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Upper Arlington High School, 1625 Zollinger Road. He will also prepare and present a report for the Board of Education identifying the key themes that will help inform the district’s next strategic planning process in 2024.
“My UAdventure has been a unique and unforgettable experience, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to sit down with me to share their thoughts,” Dr. Hunt shared. “This is just the start of an ongoing conversation that I hope to continue to have with many more people in the coming months and years ahead.”