Banner of Welcome Back message from Dr. Siddens

A Message From the Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction


Greetings to everyone in Ohio’s school communities:

This magical time of year brings with it a welcome sense of familiarity along with the anticipation of something brand new. I share your excitement about the 2022-2023 academic year as Ohio’s students continue their lifelong learning adventures.

You are the heart of Ohio’s schools. I am thrilled for the school year ahead because of the difference you’ll be making in the lives of students. Our collective work is urgent, which is why our focus should be heightened and why we need to make every effort to be ready to serve the needs of students. 

This academic year, we’ll be saluting the Class of 2023 and welcoming the Class of 2035 with the incoming group of kindergarten students. Those classes will be entering completely different worlds upon graduation. The foundation of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, leadership and more essential learning experiences we provide must match the in-demand requirements for today and decades from now.

As we begin to start anew, let us honor and celebrate the learning milestones you’ve created for students. Together, we’re preparing every student to graduate and be successful in whichever path they choose including enrollment, employment, enlistment or entrepreneurship.

These experiences begin with you and the positive and caring learning environments you create for students. I marvel at your continued dedication to students and families. As challenges stemming from the pandemic persist, so too must our examination of those barriers to attendance, engagement and achievement. Our team at the Ohio Department of Education looks forward to partnering with you in this work. We are focused on raising literacy achievement, strengthening workforce readiness and student and staff well-being, including mental health and school safety.

Everyone plays a unique, essential and impactful role for Ohio’s children. Our journeys as lifelong learners were each shaped by the incredible teachers, mentors, coaches, education professionals and school staff members who guided us along the way. For today’s preK-12 students, you are a part of each one of their learning journeys.

My admiration of your work is matched only by my gratitude for all you do for Ohio’s students and their families. My Department colleagues and I hope the resources you find in this special back-to-school issue of EdConnection will support you as you lead students to success in the year ahead.

Thank you and best wishes for a wonderful school year!


Stephanie K. Siddens, Ph.D.
Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction