Ohio County Schools Prep For New Year

Ohio County Schools leaders will gather today and Wednesday in preparation for the start of a new school year.

The Ohio County Schools Leadership Summit will be held at the West Liberty University Center at The Highlands. The conference was organized by Superintendent Kimberly Miller and countywide administrators.

The sessions will be attended by school principals and assistant principals. Topics such as innovation, discipline and training will be addressed.

Miller said the goal of the summit is to define the school system’s direction for the 2018-19 school year.

“This is our first step in ensuring that we are all on the same page as we welcome our students back to class,” she said. “The Ohio County Schools Leadership Summit gives us the opportunity to discuss important issues and share valuable ideas. We’ve scheduled an excellent speaker, and our principals will take part in helpful training sessions.”

Today’s session will feature a pair of presentations by Thomas Ralston, who is the superintendent of Avonworth School District in Pittsburgh. During those sessions, he will discuss “Making Bold Moves” as a school leader. The session also will also feature a presentation by Grow Ohio Valley.

The Wednesday session will focus on the Ohio County Schools Innovation Initiative. It also will involve group training sessions and discussions.

Ralston became the Avonworth School District superintendent with the start of the 2012-13 school year.

Prior to becoming superintendent, he served as principal of the Avonworth Middle School for six years. During his tenure as principal, the middle school was named a Pennsylvania Donald Eichhorn School to Watch in 2009 and 2012.

Ralston was named the Pennsylvania Middle School Association’s administrator of the year in 2010. He also served as the internal facilitator of the Avonworth School District Strategic Plan in 2008.

Prior to joining Avonworth, he worked as the principal of South Side Middle School in Hookstown, Pennsylvania. While at South Side, he established a cross-culture partnership with Taishi Junior High School in Taishi-cho, Japan.

After completing a master of arts degree at West Virginia University in 1996, Ralston assumed the duties of principal of Oak Glen Middle School. While at Oak Glen, he helped to guide the school to a designation as a West Virginia School of Excellence.

Ralston began his teaching career in the Hancock County school district in West Virginia, serving as a middle school science teacher from 1990 to 1996.

He graduated from West Liberty University in 1989 with a bachelor of science degree in secondary education with specializations in social science and general science. Recently, he completed a doctorate at Youngstown State University.

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