Laura Blessing

Miamisburg schools to hire Indiana educator as new superintendent

Blessing has been superintendent of Northeastern Wayne Schools in Fountain City, Ind., north of Richmond, for the past seven years. Prior to that, she was a curriculum director, elementary school principal, middle school assistant principal, and an elementary teacher across multiple Indiana districts.

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“The board was really impressed with the credentials of all of the applicants, and especially those of the finalists,” school board President Dale Toadvine said. “Any of them would have been an outstanding superintendent in our district. However, we just felt that Dr. Blessing was the best fit for Miamisburg.”

The other two finalists were Kimberly Halley, assistant superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools near Columbus, and Jennifer Penczarski, superintendent of Kenton City Schools in northwest Ohio.

In her application letter, Blessing noted her “strengths as a creative thinker, problem-solver, strong long-range planner and the ability to communicate with a diverse population.” She earned a Bachelor’s in elementary education from Indiana University, and her Master’s and Doctorate from Ball State University.

“The board was impressed with Dr. Blessing’s focus on students, demonstrated evidence of collaboration with both staff and other stakeholders, history of community involvement, and her vision for Miamisburg City Schools,” district officials said in a statement Friday.

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Blessing will become Miamisburg’s first female schools superintendent and will replace the retiring David Vail, who led the district for the past seven-plus years. Vail’s last evaluation from the school board called him “a true leader … selfless, empowering, and confident in his decision making.”

Nearly 30 candidates applied for the Miamisburg job in a search process that began in late January. The board interviewed six of them last week before trimming the list to three finalists.

All three met with select community members and the board of education Monday night. Board members followed up by getting feedback with those meeting with the candidates, and had discussions with people in each candidate’s home district, Toadvine said.

According to district records, Miamisburg planned to offer a base range salary of $130,000 to $155,000 to the top candidate.

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