Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Poland Local Schools Profile

Craig Hockenberry is an accomplished educator who has served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent at various public schools in Ohio for the past 20 years. He holds an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, an MA in education administration, and an undergraduate degree in elementary education. Craig Hockenberry serves as the superintendent at the Poland Local Schools, a position he took up in May 2021.

The Poland Local Schools is a public school that was founded in 1802. It has close to 2000 students from kindergarten to grade 12 and is located on 3199 Dobbins Road, in Poland, Ohio. It has a teacher-to-student ratio of 1 to 20 and is ranked among the top 10 percent schools out of all 914 Ohio school districts because of its high reading and math proficiency. According to Ohio school test scores, Poland Local Schools have an 82 percent reading proficiency and an 84 percent math proficiency among its students. The school has maintained a graduation rate of 95 percent over the last 5 years.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Ohio Educational Leader Named Poland

Craig Hockenberry has an extensive leadership resume in Ohio education that includes a successful revitalization of Oyler School in Cincinnati as principal. Building on a track record of transformative success, Craig Hockenberry earned inclusion on the Poland Board of Education’s short list of candidates for the new superintendent of schools in April 2021.

Following an intensive vetting and due diligence process that emphasized the need for dynamic, proven leadership qualities, Mr. Hockenberry was offered a position as incoming superintendent. The contract lasts until 2024 and reflects confidence in the work of a committed professional with lifelong roots in Northeast Ohio communities, ranging from the urban to rural.

Among the elements expected to influence Mr. Hockenberry’s tenure in the new position is past success in building lasting partnerships that included a unique community learning center model and career programs that reached vulnerable students through practical support and guidance. Innovations included on-campus health and vision centers, as well as nutritional support programs. Over the years, he has also been able to marshal local resources behind classroom construction and curriculum expansion efforts in ways that meaningfully enriched the academic environment.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Craig Hockenberry Selected As

With an extensive leadership background in education, Craig Hockenberry served as a principal with the Cincinnati Public Schools for many years and oversaw a successful turnaround at Oyler School. In May 2021, Craig Hockenberry, most recently serving as a school superintendent in Hamilton County, accepted a three-year appointment by the Poland (Ohio) Board of Education as superintendent of the Poland Local Schools.

As reported in the Vindicator, Mr. Hockenberry has ties with the local community that extend back to his high school days. As an athlete in Malvern, he was coached by a native resident of Poland. This football mentorship allowed him to thrive and ultimately play for Mount St. Joseph College.

At a special evening board meeting in which he was introduced to the community, the new superintendent was accompanied by his wife and three children. His 12-year old son called the local area “very old, but nice,” and his wife described having a passion for historic residences, of which there are many in Poland. It’s expected that the “Bulldog family” will provide a place for the Hockenberrys to spread roots, while the new superintendent advances the school district’s ambitious educational mission and goals.

Monday, June 7, 2021

The Role of a School Superintendent

Craig Hockenberry holds a master's degree in education administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. After working for Cincinnati Public Schools and Manchester Local Schools, Craig Hockenberry was recently appointed the superintendent of Poland Local Schools, and will begin serving in the role in August 2021.

The superintendent serves as the school district's public face. They are primarily responsible for a district's successes and failures. To be a successful school superintendent, one should be an exceptional individual with a well-developed skill set in school administration. The duties include managing a school system’s budget. School budgets fluctuate from year to year, particularly in public schools. The amount of money available to the school district is determined to a degree by the state of the economy and the tax revenues generated. During lean years, the superintendent may face many challenges in maintaining a quality educational environment while managing the budget.

Working with others is a big part of what a superintendent does. Superintendents must be effective managers who can communicate well and recognize the importance of developing partnerships. The superintendent has to keep the board of education up to date on events and activities in the district, and suggest to the board possible improvements affecting the district's daily operations. These areas may include property maintenance, school curriculum, and student transfers. Superintendents have to review, revise, and if necessary, create new district policies. The job is certain to be rewarding, but the choices that must be made are often difficult.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Documentary Highlights Transformation

An award-winning academic leader, Craig Hockenberry spent 15 years as the principal of Oyler School in Cincinnati, Ohio. While serving in this role, Craig Hockenberry appeared in the documentary OYLER.

Created by filmmaker Amy Scott, OYLER follows the efforts of a Cincinnati public school to break the cycle of poverty in a community consisting of predominantly low-income households. To serve students and their families, Oyler School combined academic, social, and health services under a single roof. The school is part of a growing movement to establish schools that also function as community centers.

In OYLER, Scott poses many questions. She asks, for instance, whether Oyler School can become a national model and how schools can help students who are disadvantaged. Another question she asks is whether a school can fundamentally transform a community.

To find answers, she chronicles a year at the school, focusing on the mission of its principal and the story of senior Raven Gribbins. Gribbins aims to become the first member of her family to complete high school and go to college. Meanwhile, the school’s principal offers unique insight into how the school seeks to transform the community and serve the student body.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

The Momentum Award from the Ohio Department

A recognized leader in education, Craig Hockenberry has served as superintendent of Manchester Local Schools and Three Rivers Local School District. In 2016, under Craig Hockenberry’s leadership, Three Rivers received the Momentum Award from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

Presented by the State Board of Education, the Momentum Award recognizes schools and districts that exceed student growth expectations during a given year. To be considered eligible, a school or district must have at least two of three value-added subgroups of students. These subgroups include students with disabilities, gifted students, and students with the lowest 20 percent in achievement.

Schools or districts must also score an A on each applicable measure included in the Ohio School Report Card to qualify for the award. The four possible measures correspond to the three subgroups described above and a fourth category that consists of all students.

All information that schools submit to the State Board of Education is subject to review by ODE.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

“Oyler - One School, One Year”

Craig Hockenberry has an extensive background in Ohio public education and was principal of the Oyler School at a time when the pre-K-12 Cincinnati institution achieved a successful turnaround. Craig Hockenberry was featured in the one-hour documentary “Oyler: One School, One Year,” which depicted, from his perspective and those of a high school senior, his innovative efforts at transforming a school that serves an urban Appalachian neighborhood.

As featured in a 2016 Washington Post article, the film has broad applicability to districts across much of the nation, as it delves into “economic, social, and emotional challenges” that confront students, teachers, and administrators as they strive to instill success among communities at the margins. The efforts at Oyler represented a leading-edge approach to confronting paradigm shifts in America’s public education, with an increasing number of children now raised in areas of concentrated poverty.

The approach highlighted in the documentary includes targeted, volunteer-driven mentoring and tutoring, which prepared teens to excel in the ACT college admissions examination. Mr. Hockenberry also set in place a yearly college day the involved students gaining insight into various institutions of higher learning and connecting with former graduates currently attending college. Just as important, school faculty and community members engaged in continuous dialog, as they found ways to resolve seemingly intractable issues in holistic ways that benefited the local neighborhood.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Life of William Henry Harrison


Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Highlights of the ESSA