From the Superintendent



I am happy to call attention this week to the important work of teachers, school bus drivers and school nurses. Today is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day; tomorrow is National Teacher Appreciation Day; and Wednesday is National School Nurse Appreciation Day.

Please convey my sincere thanks to these important adults in your district who are so concerned with educating our children and keeping them safe and well as they learn. Every single staff member at a school and in a district is important, because you never know which adult is making it possible for a child to find something affirming and meaningful in their school day. A bus driver, school nurse, guidance counselor, office staff member or custodian might be the one person who makes a child believe that they can succeed.

This takes nothing away from teachers, who are at the heart of our efforts to serve Ohio’s boys and girls. They are the ones who inspire our students to reach for new heights. I know this because of Helen Heller, one of my high school teachers. As I often share with people, my father died during my senior year of high school. Without his guidance, I didn’t know if I even wanted to go to college. It was Mrs. Heller who gave me the directive I needed to enroll in college, which led me to my own path as an educator.  Without that I would not be leading Ohio’s public education system today.

One of my core beliefs about education is that we must find ways to empower high-quality teachers like Helen Heller. I hope you will empower those important people this week by doing something special to let them know how much they are appreciated.

Speaking of teachers, in an early January issue of EdConnection you received a message asking superintendents to make sure appropriate personnel in their districts are enrolled as electronic signers in CORE My Educator Profile, the state’s new online educator-licensure system.

If you have already enrolled or directed your designees to do so, thank you. This will allow your teachers to take advantage of this convenient online system. Unfortunately, though, our records show many of those who have signing credentials have not yet enrolled. Without having signers enrolled, educators will remain trapped in the old paper-based system.

Please help us pave the way for a smooth online license application process by making sure now that appropriate district personnel are enrolled as e-signers in My Educator Profile.

With a SAFE account, the process should take less than five minutes. Find out who in your district is qualified to become an e-signer and view the simple enrollment instructions here. If you have questions, contact the department’s Office of Educator Licensure at (614) 466-3593 or educator.licensure@education.ohio.gov.


Dr. Richard A. Ross