Ohio native Robert Hunt, Ph.D., has been named the next superintendent of the Upper Arlington Schools following an extensive and thorough search process by the Upper Arlington Board of Education.
The Board took action at a special meeting on January 30 to approve a contract with Dr. Hunt, effective July 1. The meeting was followed by the first of several community open houses in the coming months to meet Upper Arlington’s next superintendent.
Dr. Hunt will be coming to Upper Arlington from the Barrington 220 Community Unit School District, northwest of Chicago, where he currently serves as superintendent. He has nearly 12 years of experience as the superintendent in school districts in Ohio and Illinois and has served 27 years in public education.
“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Hunt to Upper Arlington and back to the Buckeye State,” said Board of Education President Lori Trent. “Dr. Hunt reflects the vision of our students, staff, families and community for our next superintendent — he is an accomplished educator and a visionary leader who truly believes in supporting all students and building a strong relationship with our community.”
Dr. Hunt has spent the majority of his career in the state of Ohio, where he most recently served for nine years as the superintendent of the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District near Cleveland. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Kent State University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Ursuline College, and a Ph.D. in educational administration from Kent State University.
“This is an absolute tremendous honor, and I am humbled to serve as the next leader of the Upper Arlington Schools,” Dr. Hunt said at the Board meeting on Monday. “You have built an incredible educational environment from a program to facilities for young people. Today I had the opportunity to interact with staff and it just became more evident to me what makes this place so special. It’s the people that get to interact with our students every single day.”
Dr. Hunt has held numerous roles in public school districts in the state, starting as a middle school English teacher and athletic director and later becoming a high school administrator. He was named the 2021 Ohio Superintendent of the Year by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and has also received the prestigious Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Ohio Superintendent Outstanding Performance Award, which recognizes exceptional leadership with a commitment to deep learning and excellent teaching.
Over the next several months, Dr. Hunt will be working with Interim Superintendent Kathy Jenney, Ed.D., and the rest of the Upper Arlington Schools staff as he prepares to transition to the role of superintendent in Upper Arlington beginning on July 1. At that time, Dr. Jenney will step down as interim superintendent and remain on the district administrative team to continue to offer support until her retirement on July 31.
“Successful schools are a partnership between school and community, and that exists here today,” Dr. Hunt said at Monday’s meeting. “My focus will be to build upon that moving forward - to spend this transition listening and learning about what makes Upper Arlington so special … and then working with the Board of Education and this amazing team to lead in the next iteration of what will benefit our young people.”
As Dr. Hunt becomes a Golden Bear, so too will his family — including wife Shannon, a high school teacher; and their two elementary-age children, Emerson and Hawken. They also have two older children — Ashton, who will graduate from the University of Dayton this spring with a teaching degree, and Braden, who is looking to transfer from a community college in Illinois to a college in Ohio this fall.
“We cannot wait to join this community because when we come, we come to be a member of a community as much as we come to lead and be a part of the school,” he shared.
The selection of Dr. Hunt as the district’s next superintendent is the culmination of a months-long search process, involving feedback from more than 1,000 students, staff, families and community members as to their vision for the next leader of the Upper Arlington Schools.
“On behalf of the Board of Education, we truly thank the many, many community members who took time last fall to share their vision for our next leader,” Trent said. “We look forward to many opportunities ahead for everyone to get to know Dr. Hunt and to work together so that our school district can be the best it can be.”