New Tipp City superintendent looks forward to challenges

Tipp City Superintendent Mark Stefanik

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Tipp City Superintendent Mark Stefanik

Mark Stefanik comes to the Tipp City Exempted Village Schools as the new superintendent with years of experience in education but none like the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Stefanik was hired as superintendent in March to take the position that opened with the retirement July 31 of Superintendent Gretta Kumpf.

He has experience as a superintendent at the Galion (Ohio) schools and the Currituck schools in Currituck, N.C., where he began his career as an elementary teacher following graduation from The Ohio State University in 1982. A good part of his years in education was with the Wooster (Ohio) schools where he was an elementary principal and then director of preschool and elementary programs. During those years he earned his superintendent licensure through Ashland University.

Last week, Stefanik again discussed with the Tipp City schools board of education the status of the district’s reopening plan. It now includes options for in school or online classes.

Work continues on planning as COVID-19 cases continue.

Although there were some building level viruses to deal with at schools over the years, this is the first encounter with a public health situation at the district level and way beyond.

What would he tell anxious parents at this point as work continues on reopening plans?

“We hear their concerns and their anxieties and, as educators, we are anxious right along with them. We are attempting to gather as much current information as possible and our goal, as it has always been, is to create the safest and most effective educational environment that we can,” Stefanik said.

Educational planning continues, of course, but the health, wellness and safety topics are the ones “in all caps” at this time, he said. “Many of us (administrators/educators) are parents as well and we share the same concerns, anxieties,” he said.

Stefanik grew up in Parma Heights, Ohio, where his father was a teacher and then principal. As a student, Stefanik tutored younger students in math and in high school ran a summer basketball camp for younger students.

“I had been doing teacher activities for a lot of years of my young life so that was direction I thought I needed to go,” he said of his career choice.

Stefanik and his wife, Carolyn, have two young children. The family has relocated to Tipp City.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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