Category Archives: Community

January Update

Dear parents,

Happy New Year! I know that 2015 will bring great learning opportunities for our students. Please know that our teachers and staff are committed to helping each child succeed and reach their highest potential in the Kent City Schools.

Last month, I updated our Board of Education on the results of my Entry Plan Survey, which over 170 people completed. Here are quick summaries of the five questions, as well as some of the suggested changes.

  1. Please describe the culture of your school and the District. What aspects are positive and should be kept, and which components could benefit from change?

Summary: Overall, comments were positive and showed a real awareness that we care about our students. A number of respondents complimented our positive school culture and expressed pride in the District. Change: We can benefit from better communications at all levels.

  1. What are your hopes and dreams for your school and the District?

Summary: It’s clear that everyone supports the positive learning environment at our schools and wants to make sure that our students feel safe, have fun and enjoy learning. Change: Continue to focus on improving graduation rates and maintaining the financial security of the District.

  1. What is going well at your school and in the District?

Summary: Results included positive comments about each of our schools, which focused on the way each staff works as a team to serve the best interests of students. Change: Continue the commitment to address the ever-growing needs of our students.

  1. What aspects of your school or the District might benefit from change?

Summary: We received a number of very specific comments and suggestions, which will be reviewed and considered. Change: Review programs, improve communications and promote fresh ideas.

  1. What expectations do you have of me as your new superintendent?

Summary: Respondents challenged me to evaluate the Kent City Schools program and guide them to the next level by being well informed and proactive. Change: Respondents made their feelings clear—“We need a leader who believes in us and appreciates us—and puts kids first.”

            Thank you to those who participated for your time and thoughtful responses. If you have further thoughts, please e-mail me at or call me at 330-676-7610.

Thank you again for your continued support of the Kent City Schools,

George J. Joseph




Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays,

As 2014 comes to a close, it is important to reflect on a very full year of activity in the Kent City Schools.

It goes without saying, 2014 brought many challenges to the students, families, administration and the Board.  Transitions are difficult and unwelcome; yet, through resilience and determination, these difficult changes provided each of us opportunities for engagement, new relationships, and learning all sides of many issues.

2014 was transformative in terms of staff, as well.  For those staff members and students we no longer see on a daily basis, we hope KCS holds a place in your heart, just as you do in ours.  We thank you for adding to the experience and knowledge of the people you touched.  We have welcomed many new faces into the Kent Schools family, including a new superintendent, Mr. Joseph, who continues to do an excellent job getting to know our families, staff and stakeholders.

There have been so many success stories – too many to articulate in a small space.  From the excitement of those first sight-reading words in our Kindergarten classes, to the recent inductions of the National Honor Society, to exceptional athletic accomplishments and musical accolades…the determination and dedication of the students and staff is outstanding.   It is a good time to be in Kent!

To ensure progress, the Board and Administration continues to respond to feedback on issues facing the district.  Your input is always welcome.  This month, we will be concentrating on planning for the future, formulating new ideas, reconsidering old ones, and preparing to meet 2015 with our very best effort.

In closing, on behalf of the Board, I send our most sincere appreciation to each of the following:

  • To the families, in your role as partners in education, as tireless volunteers, as cheerleaders for your children. Your support is invaluable!
  • To the community members, one and all, who provide the resources for the next generation.  We hope you are pleased with the investment in the future.  Come see what’s happening in our buildings!
  • To each and every staff member who fulfills their days by encouraging, challenging and nurturing this community’s youngest members.  Keep up the great work!

Very best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season to all!

Merry Christmas!   Happy Hannakuh!   Happy Kwanzaa!   Feliz Navidad!

Rebekah Kulis

November 2014 Update

To the Kent community,

I’ve enjoyed being out in the community over the past few months and having the opportunity to meet more of our families and Kent residents.  It’s clear that people believe in the Kent Schools and support us.

I’ve also had the chance to interact with a number of our students.  The 29th Annual Theodore Roosevelt High School Leadership Retreat held in early November at Camp Wanake was a fantastic event for our high school students.  This student- organized retreat includes three days of interactive activities, inspiring speakers, interesting in-depth conversations and a comfortable social environment.  I was one of the volunteers asked to participate in the Community Leader & Student Delegate Discussion, along with nearly 40 leaders from our community.

Judging Roosevelt’s Chili Challenge, including 19 different kinds of chili, was fun.  Pumpkin chili was a new one for me!  The event raised $1,000 for Miller Community House, and leftover chili was sent over to the house in freezer bags for future meals.

As part of my effort to form new partnerships with Kent State University, I met recently with professors from the Department of Psychological Sciences.  We are collaborating on action research, and I believe our students, families and teachers can all benefit from the results of those opportunities.

Dr. Richard Ross, Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, and William Bussey, Ohio Department of Education Director of Career-Technical Education, visited Roosevelt High School in late September.  They toured our Six District Educational Compact Career Technical Education programs and spent time with our Forestry and Landscape Management students.  Dr. Ross said he is interested in using our partnership model with The Davey Tree Expert Company in other school districts across the state.

Let me thank again the Kent State Athletics Department for providing free football tickets for all our students for the game on October 11.  I especially want to thank Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen and Deputy Athletic Director Devin Crosby for helping make this happen.  The kids had an exciting time cheering KSU football players as they ran onto the field and many attended their first-ever college game.

I have been speaking to different groups around town and hope to schedule more of these.  Please know that I would like to hear your comments and suggestions.  Call me at 330-676-7610 or e-mail me at

Thank you again for your continued support of the Kent City Schools,

George J. Joseph