New Superintendent Catherine Puster introduced herself to the Rotary Club
of Loudonville Thursday, August 17. The new superintendent, who served as director of curriculum for the school district the past year, reviewed her educational background and work history before answering questions about the schools posed by Rotary members.
Puster grew up in the McZena area and graduated from West Holmes High School. For eight years, while working and also battling illness, she worked her way to a teaching degree from the University of Akron, starting that quest at Wayne College in Orrville.
She taught math at Fremont and Becksville-Broadview Heights, and was an assistant principal and athletic director at the Brooklyn City Schools. She then served as a director of curriculum, through the Tri-County Educational Service Center, for the Triway and Smithville Schools for one year, and then served as curriculum director at the Milan-Edison Schools for seven years before coming to Loudonville for the same position last year.
She earned a masters in educational administration from Baldwin Wallace, and her superintendent's license at Ashland University, where she is a doctoral candidate.
She said her goals as superintendent are to improve student achievement, and community relations, and regarding community relations, said she will make as many presentations as possible to community groups like Rotary, and will start a Breakfast with Catherine program on Sept. 15 at 7 a.m. at the Wedgewing Restaurant in Perrysville, open to everyone.
Among questions posed to her were the impact the transition of federal education programs from No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act. She said NCLB provided funding for programs which ESSA will not, costing the district about $60,000 in Title I funds.
An ongoing financial hit the district faces is the loss of students, and their state revenues, to charter schools. "For every one of our students who enroll in a charter, it costs us about $5,000 in state funds. This cost the district a total of $300,000 last school year, School Treasurer and Rotary Member Marie Beddow said.