HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Schools Superintendent Sue Gunnell will step down from her position at the end of July. Gunnell’s resignation was accepted by the Huber Heights Board of Education on Thursday evening.
Gunnell, who has been Superintendent since 2012, retired in 2015 and then was rehired.
“It has been a privilege to serve the Huber Heights City Schools since the 1984-85 school year. I am forever grateful to have had 35 years focused on improving outcomes for all students supported by a talented staff, supportive parents and community, and a dedicated Board of Education,” said Gunnell in a statement on the district’s website.
The Montgomery County Educational Service Center in conjunction with K-12 Business Consulting, Inc. will lead the process in selecting the next Superintendent. Updates on the hiring process will be posted on the HHCS website in the coming days and months.
Gunnell has served in a variety of roles during her time in the district. She began her career during the 1984-85 school year as a school psychologist intern which then transitioned into a full time position. From there Gunnell held the titles of Supervisor of Special Education, Director of Student Services, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, and served the last seven years as Superintendent.
Her time in various leadership positions across the district has seen numerous accomplishments. While serving as Superintendent she helped facilitate the advancement of Project Lead the Way classes, a nationally certified pre-engineering, biomedical program, and computer science, at Wayne High School and Weisenborn Junior High School. She also expanded dual enrollment opportunities for students to earn high school and college credits.
Other notable accomplishments from Gunnell’s time in the district include providing educational leadership for the completion of a $166 million school construction project. The final project was on time, $13 million under budget, and moved seven PreK-5th grade elementary buildings to five PreK-6th grade elementary buildings. The move of reshaping the district helped her establish partnerships with community organizations to expand services to students including before and after school child care.
While at the district, Gunnell held roles as the Supervisor of Special Education. In that role she provided leadership for ongoing special education programs in HHCS. Part of that leadership included implementing federal and state laws and regulations governing special education programs and services. Gunnell’s tenure has led to the Studebaker Administration Building becoming one of the leading preschool learning centers in the region with the HHCS Preschool, YMCA preschoolers, and MCESC preschoolers all housed under one roof.
She’s also taught as an adjunct instructor in the University of Dayton’s counseling department from 1990-97. Prior to coming to HHCS, Gunnell was a teacher at Northridge Local Schools from 1980-84. While at Northridge, she was nominated Teacher of the Year by the Council for Exceptional Children for high school students with developmental disabilities.
Gunnell has earned several professional awards and held leadership positions outside of HHCS. She currently sits on boards including Huber Heights Foundation Board, Y at the Heights Board of Advisors, Sinclair Tech Prep Board, and the Huber Heights Rotary Club. She’s received numerous recognitions including the 2017 Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) Exemplary Educational Leadership Award, the 2006 Walter-Horn Partnering for Progress Outstanding Educator Award, and the 2006 Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Regional Award.
Educational leaders from various associations have sought Gunnell’s insight. Some highlights include her being a BASA Region 9 Representative from 2014-17, presenter at the National School Boards Association 2011 Annual Conference and a presenter at the Ohio School Boards Association State Conference in 2009-10.
With Gunnell’s resignation in tow, HHCS is in a good place on multiple fronts. The district is in sound financial shape while it continues to expand educational opportunities for students, there’s an experienced administrative team in place, and all K-12 students are learning in educational facilities less than 10 years old.
Gunnell led the district in making gains outside of the classroom as well. She welcomed several community organizations into the Studebaker Administration building providing food and clothes to those in need.
Gunnell earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Dayton. Her next plans include spending more time with her husband, children and grandchildren.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.