From the Superintendent




It was with a heavy heart that I learned last night of the deaths of several school children in a vicious tornado that swept through Moore, Oklahoma. The casualty reports are changing, so it is difficult to know exactly how many boys, girls, and brave educators lost their lives. My deepest sympathies go to the parents and families of those killed at Plaza Towers Elementary School, as well as to the families who still have loved ones missing in the rubble. I pray that the efforts of rescuers there will be successful.


At the same time, I am grateful that only minor injuries were reported at Briarwood Elementary, a nearby school severely damaged by the storm, and my heart will be with the parents, teachers and students of that school as they heal from their trauma and rebuild.  


Today we are hearing of the heroism of school administrators and teachers from both schools who put themselves in harm’s way to save their students. Such stories remind me of what I see so often in educators: Despite the challenges they can face in their classrooms from day to day, they care deeply about their students, and that caring extends to a desire to protect them from harm. It’s a quality in teachers that we can neither legislate nor truly compensate, and it confirms my esteem for those in whose hands we place our children every day.


I hope this tragic time gives you pause to think about how much you appreciate your own students and school staff. The suddenness of this disaster should remind us that every day we have with every child is a privilege and blessing that we should never take for granted.


Thank you for all you do to educate—and protect—Ohio’s boys and girls.




Dr. Richard A. Ross