UNION CITY, Ohio — A President’s Reception was held Saturday afternoon at Mississinawa Valley (MV) Local School in honor of Elementary Principal Stephanie Klingshirn, who will serve as president this school year of the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators (OAESA).
Preceding the reception for the incoming president, the OAESA board held its meeting at the elementary school. Twenty-five directors, including six executive board members of which Klingshirn presided, were in attendance. That meeting began at 10 a.m.
And some of that groups stayed around for the reception held at 2 p.m.
Dr. Julie Davis, OAESA executive director, made introductions at the reception.
Remarks focusing on Klingshirn were made by Lisa Wendel, retired superintendent of Mississinawa Valley Schools; Mark Jones, OAESA associate executive director; Heidi Kegley, OAESA past president; and two other former presidents, Steve Zinser and Paul Young.
“It’s an honor to talk to you today,” said Wendel, whose history with the OAESA was in 1990 when she was principal at M-V. “I attended my first convention that year. It is the most passionate group of people. I met Stephanie because we were looking for someone to replace me when I became superintendent. We have very obvious differences. She is classy and she refuses to give up on kids, even when they prove they can’t handle classes and continue to be disrespectful. She rewards good behavior instead of punishing the bad, but she will not give up. This president will not give up and what better person to lead your organization.”
“This (MV)is out in the middle of nowhere, but we’re having a ball,” Jones said. “Having served on both sides, I know how important it is to have the right person in charge. She is absolutely one of these people. With Julie and Stephanie, we can’t be in better hands.”
“Stephanie has been an inspiration to me since our first meeting,” said Kegley. “We stayed together and talked about our staff, students and families. What a gift she is to students, staff and our organization.”
“Stephanie has a passion for kids,” Zinser said. “She does that everyday. She will speak for several million students all over the state. There are 4,500 public schools. I know you will come through with flying colors.”
“It’s been 30 years for me,” said Young. “Principalship is also very lonely sometimes…like out in the middle of nowhere but have the opportunity to meet people like Stephanie and Steve. We support ourselves; we strive and survive. We all share what’s meaningful. You’re going to have a great year.”
Davis also spoke to Klingshirn, “It’s a wonderful role. I’ll be looking forward to working with you.”
Then it came time for Klingshirn to speak after Scholastic Books were presented to her and the school from the OAESA.
“I just have to say what an honor and privilege it is,” Klingshirn said. “It’s an honor to be representing and advocating for principals of Ohio. It is incredibly humbling as I am representing hard-working elementary administrators from across the state. Lisa [Wendel] was on board when I was hired here. I have met wonderful people who have become lifelong friends. I’m very honored and humble to serve the association.”
She said her parents, Dale and Naomi Maurer of Kettlersville in the Anna area; Tom Archer, her county 4-H extension agent, and Nancy Knapke, the first principal who hired me to teach at Fort Loramie were instrumental in helping her get to where she is today.
“They all taught me so much and saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” she said.
The elementary principal is married to Joe Klingshirn and is the mother of Abigayle and Lydia, ages 6 and 8, respectively.
“I am also called Grandma by Colton, 2, and Kaylee, 6 months, who are the children of my stepson, Bill, and his wife, Bridget,” she said.
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