Rossford superintendent right at home in new job
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 10 May 2013 09:51
ROSSFORD - To the folks at the senior citizen breakfast at Rossford High School, the new superintendent is simply "Danny."
|Rossford Superintendent Daniel Creps chats with fifth graders Lukas Klotz (right) and Kaylee Groom (middle) during a visit to Eagle Point Elementary School in Rossford. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
They knew Daniel Creps when he was growing up, and they welcome him back to the city as the district's top educator.
Eileen Pietrasz remembers driving her son and Creps to sports practices and games, even when it meant trekking to the southern part of the state.
"I really love it," she said of his appointment in April as superintendent. "He's always been a super nice kid. I couldn't say enough good things about him. I mean that from the bottom of my heart."
She feels coming from the community "he'll take more of an interest in the schools."
Ed Tucholski, who taught at Rossford High when Creps was a student though he never had him as a student, was also pleased to have a local product in charge of the schools "because he'll be active with the community. ... It's not just a job."
Creps' deep ties to the community were evident at the breakfast Tuesday and later when he toured Indian Hills Elementary School.
He pointed out senior citizens who were the parents of his classmates, and the grandparents of members of student council who were running the BINGO game.
Then at both the high school and Indian Hills he visited the cafeteria staff and chatted with workers, some of whom he'd grown up with.
"He's very personable," Tucholski said.
Creps said he was glad to be leading the district. He was especially pleased, he said, at the way the Board of Education conducted its search without any hint of favoritism. "The big thing for me is to come home to Rossford," Creps said, "and to know I'm qualified."
When applying for the job, he characterized himself as "a hometown boy with a worldwide view."
His background as a Rossford native and his continued involvement in the city helps him to establish trust with the community.
Creps, 47, comes to the district as it is in the throes of change.
In fall, 2010, voters overwhelmingly rejected a school building plan.
Now a citizen-driven effort is trying to come up with a plan to replace or renovate the district's aging high and middle schools, located downtown, and its three elementary schools.
As the Master Plan Steering Committee and its subcommittees do their work, Creps is taking a hands off approach, waiting for them to make a recommendation.
At this point he wants to hear what the community has to say.
It's not the first time Creps has come back to Rossford at a turning point in his career.
After graduating from Wittenberg University, he moved to Erie, Pa., to start a career in radio. But the economic turmoil in the radio business forced him to question that career choice.
So he returned to his hometown and went to work for Patricia Sloan in the Rossford Recreation Department. That, he told a community forum before he was hired, got him to start thinking about education as a career.
He received his master's from the University of Toledo and went to work as an elementary school teacher in Sylvania District. He held several administration positions in Sylvania before going to Perrysburg as principal of Woodland Elementary.
Now he's back in Rossford, a place where he benefited from a great education, he said at the community forum earlier this year.
He wants to continue that tradition and be able to look back and realize: "I was part of doing something great for this community."
On the job since April 1, he's still introducing himself around the district. Visiting Indian Hills, Principal Holly Schmidbauer brought him to all the classrooms, literally making the rounds in the circular-shaped building.
Creps told a kindergarten class that his job was not the most important one in this district. Being a student was the most important job, he said. "Work hard at your job."