XENIA — The Xenia Community Schools may not have been in session Monday for the President’s Day holiday, but Denny Morrison, the district’s new superintendent pro tem, began his tenure.
In a release from the district acquired by the Xenia Gazette, Morrison said he brings his experience to Xenia with the plans to make the district a winner.
“The effectiveness of a school district should not and cannot be measured by the results of tests administered in a single day or a single week,” Morrison said to the Board of Education at its last meeting. “We are about so much more than that in Xenia.”
Morrison said that the district will work to instill “values in our young people to help them develop personal responsibility.”
“My promise to you is that we will work hard to meet the needs of all of our young people regardless of whether they have special needs, are academically gifted and talented, or are the average or ‘middle of the road’ students as I like to call them,” Morrison said. “Every decision that we make will be based on the response to one single question, ‘Is this what is best for kids?’.”
The district placed a welcoming letter on its website Monday, stating “The district is very excited to bring Mr. Morrison on board and looks forward to taking advantage of all his previous experiences.”
That experience dates back to 1973, when Morrison began his teaching career as a Spanish teacher at Marion Catholic High School. He then spent nine years as a Spanish teacher at Galion City Schools before becoming an assistant principal at Galion Middle School. In 1990, Morrison became a Principal at Kenton Middle School and then left to become Principal at Mad River Local Schools where he stayed for seven years.
In 1998, Morrison became the superintendent for Mad River Local Schools where he took the district from an Academic Emergency Rating to a Continuous Improvement Rating on the State Report Card. In 2002, he became the superintendent for Beavercreek City Schools and retired in 2009.
Morrison didn’t stay retired for long, however, as he became the director of curriculum and instruction with Fairborn City Schools. He had many positive improvements including meeting more state indicators and having a higher performance index score than had ever been achieved previously in the district.
Morrison then went on to become the Middle School Principal at Ankeney Middle School in Beavercreek and is leaving his assistant principal position at Baker Middle School in Fairborn to join the Xenia District as Superintendent Pro Tem and soon to be Superintendent.
The new superintendent said the work of turning the district around will take a lot of help — from inside and outside the schools.
“We need our parents and community members to understand that they must become partners in the educational process,” Morrison said. “Our community has a wealth of people who have so much to offer to our young people. We are a community that is truly blessed.”
Morrison issued a challenge to the community.
“If you have an hour a week, get involved in our school system,” he said. “You do not need to hold a teaching license to make a difference. Possibilities range from helping out in the office or the lunchroom, to reading to a young person, to guest lecturing to a class, to explaining how to do math problems, to just listening to our young people.
“Sometimes the best classroom is at the feet of a senior citizen. The more individualized attention we can provide to our young people in our schools, the better connected they will remain and the better their opportunity to attain a diploma. Contact the school to see what you can do to become involved. Be a hero to a young person. Be a volunteer!”