WADSWORTH: Dale Fortner presented his last State of the Schools address as superintendent at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday.
After 10 years at the helm, Fortner has resigned effective June 30 and has has accepted a position as the Vice President of Human Resources at Sandrige Food Corporation. Andy Hill, currently superintendent of the Waterloo School District, will succeed him.
Fortner said, "As I step down as superintendent next month, I know Wadsworth City Schools has lived up to our challenge of providing a high quality education at an affordable price and I am extremely confident that the district will continue to strive to be the best at whatever we do and keep quality education as a community tradition."
In his assessment of the 2012-2013 school year, Fortner noted," We have experienced another outstanding year that brought more accolades to our district including the attention across the state of Ohio with our first of its kind school construction project."
That project included the building of three new elementary buildings and a high school along with a community center that houses the Soprema Senior Center, a YMCA, a home for Wadsworth Community Television, Wadsworth Summa Health Center and space for the local library.
He added the system has had 10 consecutive years of an Excellent with Distinction designation and is the only school district in Medina County to receive the state's highest performance rating for the fourth consecutive year.
Fortner also noted the academic, athletic and artistic successes including National Merit Semi-Finalists Grace Cammarn, Sam Drury and Alan McPherson.
In addition, he lauded the Board of Education -- singling out Jim McIlvaine for 25 years of service on the board -- the administrative personnel, the faculty, support staff, parents, students and volunteers for their role in the system's accomplishments.
Fortner also noted the challenges that lie ahead. Those challenges include state funding, federal sequestration, the Affordable Care Act, state-mandated curriculum changes and new common core standards, a new state-mandated teacher evaluation system and new requirements of on-line end of course exams for students.
He praised the fiscal responsibility of the system and said the budget is expected to be in positive territory for the next few years.
"Please be confident Wadsworth City Schools will lead the way and be a model for others to follow, Fortner acknowledged.