After 24 years in same job, this local superintendent set to retire

Keith St. Pierre

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Keith St. Pierre

After a nearly 43-year career in public education, Sugarcreek-Bellbrook Schools Superintendent Keith St. Pierre is retiring.

St. Pierre is on extended leave for medical reasons and his resignation, submitted in August, will be effective in January, according to Jeffrey Lewis, the district’s business manager, who has stepped in to serve as acting superintendent.

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School Board President Mary Frantz said St. Pierre has been a “very strong leader” who “has brought our district to the outstanding level we enjoy today.”

“Keith has always been very willing to work with staff and the board to make sure we have the best we can afford for our students. In any decision, he has reminded us to do the best we can for our students,” Frantz said.

St. Pierre has been Sugarcreek-Bellbrook Schools superintendent for 24 years and has overseen the district as it has grown with new schools and more students.

The district has hired K-12 Business Consulting to help in the search for the next superintendent. The consultants will host a series of forums on Oct. 24 with students, staff and community members to gauge preferences for the district’s next top administrator.

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The consultants will also provide a survey on the district’s website where residents can submit answers to questions related to the superintendent search.

The school board is expected to interview potential candidates starting in December and in February hire someone to fill the role and start working next school year.

St. Pierre’s salary was $115,319 in 2016, according to the Dayton Daily News I-Team Payroll Project.

He started his education career in 1975 and first became superintendent in 1989 at Miami East Local Schools before moving into the role at Sugarcreek-Bellbrook in 1994, according to the district.

In the district’s newsletter piece announcing his retirement, St. Pierre said he has led the district through the challenges of “continuing budget crunches, changing academic standards and new state mandates.”

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“We succeeded by employing excellent administrators, teachers and support staff, while partnering with our parents and the community to offer such excellent programs,” he said. “It has been an honor and a privilege serving the district in which my children grew up and graduated.”

Lewis, the acting superintendent, is the former Xenia schools superintendent. He said St. Pierre “leaves quite a legacy,” seeing the district through to become one of the top performing public schools in the state.

“A good leader creates a smooth-sailing ship,” Lewis said. “I will try to keep it on course until we get a new person on board some time next summer.”

Enrollment this year is at approximately 2,800 students, up by about 60 from last year. Lewis said the district could still see more enrollment growth this school year as homes and apartment buildings under construction get finished.

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