(4-5-19) The Bethel Local Schools Board of Education will approve a three-year contract to employ Justin Firks as their next Superintendent, effective August 1, 2019, at the regular April Board meeting. Mr. Firks is currently the Superintendent of the Fort Recovery Local School District. He will replace Virginia Potter, who has served the school district as superintendent for the past five years.
The Board of Education initiated a superintendent search in February 2019. The Board received assistance in the process from the Miami County Educational Service Center, and K-12 Business Consulting, Inc., a superintendent search firm.
After developing a superintendent profile that was based on input received during six (6) staff/community focus group sessions and from survey responses from 92 parents and community members, teachers, administrators, support staff members and students, the Board reviewed the credentials of 28 applicants, many of whom were recruited.
Board interviews with seven semi-final candidates were conducted on March 18 and 19, after a committee of 23 citizens and district employees first had the opportunity to ask each candidate questions during a Meet and Greet session. Two (2) finalists were invited to return on April 1st and 2nd to meet with community and district staff ahead of a second interview with the Board.
Jacob King, the Board President
“We are extraordinarily pleased with the outcome of the search process. Mr. Firks proved to be the best fit to carry forward the vision of the District. His record of accomplishment with driving academic excellence at Fort Recovery Schools over the past four years, along with his passion for working with students, staff and families, demonstrate his capacity to be successful as our schools’ top leader.”
“The Board of Education is excited that Mr. Justin Firks will be the new leader for Bethel Local Schools. I believe incredible things can happen in a school where students are challenged, where they have choices about their education and where they can get feedback to correct the course of their choices. For all of this to happen, we need leadership willing to take risks and put the energy and enthusiasm into their work to let kids know how important education is. We are excited to begin this journey with Mr. Firks as he works to build a spirit of teamwork and a commitment to our youth and schools.”
Mr. Firks has served the Fort Recovery Local School District as Superintendent for the past four (4) years. Previously, he was the Junior/Senior High School Principal at Fort Loramie Schools. Mr. Firks was a High School Social Studies teacher for eight (8) years, sharing his time between Jackson Center Local, New Bremen and Napoleon Schools. Mr. Firks served one year as a special education teacher and assistant athletic director at Parkway Local Schools. He has also been a basketball and baseball coach.
Mr. Firks received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and special education from Wright State University in 2003 and 2008. He earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Nova Southeastern University in 2006. Mr. Firks educational administration courses were taken at the University of Dayton and Bowling Green State University.
‘It is an honor and a privilege to have been named the next Superintendent of Bethel Local Schools. The Bethel Community and the school system are built on a tradition of excellence and pride. What excites me the most is that Bethel is a very tight knit community where the school system is the hub of our community, and our stakeholders are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our students academically, artistically, with activities and in athletics. Each day we will celebrate, honor and cherish the past traditions of Bethel Local Schools while building for the future of our school system. Our students are our most precious resource, and we will focus on ‘Every Student, Every Day, Educate with Excellence.”
“I look forward to collaborating and connecting with the staff, students, parents, and community stakeholders throughout the district in building a new strategic plan that will serve as the ‘North Star’ of Bethel Local Schools. This plan will engage all our staff, students and stakeholders and will allow them to have a voice in the direction of our school system by building positive relationships and community partnerships that are centered on trust, effective communication and doing what is best for kids! On behalf of my wife Kim and our four children: Kendall is 6th grader, our daughter Michaela is a 4th grader, Alyvia is in Kindergarten, and Canaan attends Preschool. We are excited about transitioning to Bethel and residing in the district and having our children attend school in Bethel. Family is extremely important to us and we cannot wait to join the Bethel Bees Family very soon.”