Superintendent Patterson Announces Intention To Retire In July
Superintendent Jeff Patterson announced at the Board of Education meeting on November 6 that he intends to retire effective July 31, 2018 after 12 years with the District, including seven as superintendent.
“I have been fortunate to have so many exceptional factors come together to make my tenure with Lakewood City Schools a very positive one. These include a visionary Board, our deeply committed administrative staff, our talented teaching and support staff, our amazing students, and an extremely supportive community, including a city government that has always been willing to work together,” Patterson said.
“I decided to announce my intention at this time to allow our Board of Education sufficient time to search for Lakewood's next Superintendent. Our construction projects are coming to an end, our District is in fine financial shape, and our union contracts are extended until 2020. Now is a good time for leadership change,” Patterson said.
Patterson, who started with the District in 2006 as Assistant Superintendent for Secondary and Alternative Education, will leave behind a long list of accomplishments that occurred under his leadership:
- Passage of a $50 million bond issue and leverage of state funds for an additional $50 million
- Passage of an operating levy in 2013 that was approved by nearly 70% of voters
- Completion of the final phase of the District’s Facilities Master Plan that included negotiations with the State of Ohio to add back a seventh elementary school in the plan.
- Vision established for the District to be a top 20 Ohio public school district by 2020
- Implementation of 1-1 technology initiative for grades 6-10
- Successful negotiations of labor contracts with all three unions.
A highlight of Patterson’s tenure in Lakewood was in 2015 when he was named the Ohio Superintendent of the Year by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators. His legacy in Lakewood will be one of continuing the District’s tradition of community engagement and input, building partnerships with area institutions and businesses, such as First Federal Lakewood, University of Akron and Cleveland Clinic, and significantly increasing the use of technology in the classroom.
Under his guidance, the District signed its first naming rights contract with First Federal Lakewood for the high school stadium and brought health care directly to the District’s students through a partnership with Cleveland Clinic Children’s with mobile units and soon, a permanent clinic at Lakewood High School.
When he retires in July after 44 years in education, Patterson will leave behind a District that is fiscally sound at a time when many districts are struggling to cope with tighter state budgets and that has staunch support from its community.
Board President Betsy Shaughnessy remarked on Patterson’s announcement: “Jeff Patterson has provided excellent leadership during his years as Superintendent – his commitment to academic excellence has always been in evidence. He understands the importance of financial stability to addressing the needs of every student in a coherent and consistent way.
She continued: “One of the characteristics I most admire about Jeff is his ability to listen and to truly hear the concerns of those around him and to use that understanding to improve a situation or a process and to move forward. He has consistently and tirelessly worked to ensure that available resources were used to maximum effect.”
According to Shaughnessy, the Board has not decided on the next steps ahead but said the search for a new superintendent will include seeking input from the community and District employees.