- Michael D. Clark Staff Writer
The changes continue for Middletown City Schools as voters put a new member on the governing board that oversees one of the region’s most transformative school systems.
Voters chose newcomer Cathie Mulligan for one of the two open seats on the Middletown school board and returned incumbent Todd Moore for another four-year term.
Mulligan beat out fellow first-time candidate Bruce Hughley Sr., and she was the top vote winner with 43 percent of the vote, according to unofficial ballot tallies by the Butler County Board of Elections.
Moore won 32 percent of the vote.
Mulligan, who is past president of both Middletown Community Foundation and the Middletown Arts Center, has previously told the Journal-News “student achievement will be my priority.”
“Student achievement is the result of effective facilitation of learning by classroom professionals led by building administrators,” said Mulligan.
“It requires support, resources and professional development for teachers, appropriate curriculum, and individualized intervention. I will hold school administration accountable for reporting to the board on progress in improving student achievement, for maintaining a school environment that welcomes and nurtures each student, and for supporting teachers in educational practices that facilitate students’ understanding and retention of learning objectives,” she said.
Moore has previously told the Journal-News “while I value the data within the state’s report card, I believe Ohio’s report card system needs reform. Nearly every school district in Butler County, including affluent districts such as Mason and Lakota, saw significant decreases in their report card rankings. Part of the problem, is the performance indicator calculations — the process is flawed.”
The 6,400-student district has in recent years posted some of the lowest performing scores on the annual states tests among school systems in Southwest Ohio.
But school officials have expressed renewed optimism with the hiring of Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr., who took office in August and has instituted numerous and wide-ranging reforms designed to improve the quality of the city schools.
The district is also approaching the opening of the largest new school opening in its history with the construction of a new middle school and the massive renovation and expansion of the adjacent Middletown High School.
Both projects are scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2018 in time for the opening of the 2018-2019 school year.