Parmigian reflects on 11 years at B-C-S Schools

Yaneek Smith

        In the last decade or so, the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District has faced some challenges.
        Whether it was working to secure funding via a levy after Davis-Besse was devalued or tightening its belt to break ground on a new K-6 building, B-C-S superintendent Dr. Guy Parmigian has been there for the major events for the last 11 years.
        Reflecting on the efforts of the school district during those trying times, he said, “The levies we passed a few years ago were for general operations and not to build a new school. The fact is that we were able to build a new Oak Harbor Intermediate School — without asking taxpayers for new money — through conservative fiscal practices over the past decade and very successful lobbying efforts of the state legislature by our board of education and treasurer. As far as passing the levies we passed a few years ago to fund our operations due to the devaluation of Davis-Besse, I am proud that our community stepped up in such a big way to ensure world-class education for our students.”
        Parmigian, who earned his Ph.D. from Miami (Ohio) University in 2006, is returning to Oxford to be a professor.
        “I will be a clinical professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. I will be coordinating and teaching for their Doctor of Education program,” he said. “I will also be teaching superintendent licensure courses. The reason I took on this new challenge is that I love to teach and to develop others as ethical educational leaders.”
        Parmigian talked about what’s made him most proud as an educator.
        “I feel that my greatest accomplishment has been moving the needle to make our school buildings more welcoming and respectful environments for all students, including our students of color, LGBTQ students, and students experiencing disabilities,” he said. “When a student does not feel respected and welcomed, they will struggle with learning. The administration and staff have been great in this arena and have embraced professional development. There is more work to be done, and this work is never complete.
        “It has been an honor and privilege to serve the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District community for 11 years. It is an experience I will never forget. The students, families, and community members I have been lucky to work with are filled with ‘Rocket Pride.’ More than anything, we have outstanding students here in Oak Harbor. Our students are resilient and savvy, and each day I am inspired by them.”
        Treasurer Cajon Keeton has worked closely with Parmigian during their time together. Keeton, who was hired by the district eight years ago, talked about Parmigian and what he’s meant to him.
        “During our trying times as a district, he has had a level of composure that is unmatched and it was exactly what I and the school district needed,” said Keeton. “I could not imagine going through our struggles with anyone else.
        “I have learned a lot from Dr. Parmigian. It is a great feeling to come to work every day with a colleague that is on the same page as you in regards to many aspects in education. I cannot imagine fighting the battles we have fought together, doing that with anyone else.”
        Cathy Bergman, the director of administrative services, will be sworn in as the interim superintendent on Aug. 1.
        “I have been fortunate to work with great people; our staff is exemplary,” Bergman said. “We are rated in the top 10% (in Ohio). The support staff is like no other and Mr. Keeton, the school's treasurer, continues to do an outstanding job securing revenue for our students.
        “I have been so fortunate to work with Dr. Parmigian. He has been a great mentor and his vast knowledge has provided great insight into this position. There will be challenges, but when you surround yourself with extraordinary people, it makes for great outcomes,” she said.
        “My expectation is to carry on the exceptional education that the legacy of B-C-S offers.”


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