WILMINGTON — The next Wilmington City Schools (WCS) superintendent is a WHS Class of 1976 graduate who is retired military and has more than 20 years as an administrator in education.
The WCS Board of Education on Monday approved James “Jim” Brady to lead the district, effective August 1.
WCS Board President Michael Flanigan said he feels that Brady is the best fit for the school district among the 16 applicants for the position.
Among the qualities that Brady “brings to the table” and can help the district with, Flanigan said, are some of the common themes the board has heard lately from residents such as discipline, interacting with the community, and “just immersion in general.”
The board president said Brady has a well-rounded resume, noting extensive experience in education along with 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Serving that long in the military and then pursuing the field of public education after hanging up the uniform tells Flanigan that Brady is “looking to continue to give back to communities.”
In his letter of interest to the board of education, Brady stated he hoped to use his “combined experiences as a school superintendent, principal, college instructor, school business manager, athletic director, teacher, coach, business owner/CEO, and graduate of Wilmington High School to reinvigorate pride and high standards in the city’s school system.”
In the letter he also commented, “Although I spent many years in Wilmington and believe the community’s core values can be, and should be, reflected in the school system, I also bring a unique perspective from having lived in other Ohio cities, U.S. states, and internationally.”
After teaching at Princeton City Schools and at Scarlet Oaks Joint Vocational School, he moved in 1999 into administration at Clinton-Massie Local Schools. There he served as athletic director and assistant middle school principal from 1999-2004, and as director of student services from 2004-2009.
In 2009 he continued in administration as superintendent at Westfall Local in Pickaway County, before relocating in 2011 to the Cleveland area, where he was the assistant superintendent/business manager for East Cleveland City Schools.
After four years he accepted the position of superintendent at Fayetteville Local School District in Brown County in southern Ohio. In 2019 he accepted his current position in Columbus as superintendent for the Ohio Department of Youth Services and the Buckeye United School District.
Flanigan mentioned Brady’s experience in dealing not only with students who are excelling but also with students who are struggling, whether for socio-economic reasons or because they’ve gotten themselves in some kind of trouble.
“He’s got a lot of experience in that. That was another key area [where] I just felt like he was a candidate to really look at and bring into this district,” said the board of education president.
Brady, in his letter, stated he has many years of experience “working with students from all walks of life, both as an educator and a foster parent.”
Of the selection process Flanigan remarked that Brady’s “overall personality and demeanor I think brought a lot to the table.” Flanigan anticipates Brady may do things like “having coffee at a local restaurant with everyday citizens of the district, everyday taxpayers of the district, talking about what we’re doing well, and hearing about what we should do better.”
Brady told the News Journal he will have an open-door policy.
He and his wife Barb currently live in Grove City near Columbus, but expect to reside in Clinton County.
He received a three-year contract, with a salary of $130,000.
Brady’s resume includes being CEO and co-owner of Pizza City USA in Richlands, North Carolina in 1993-1995; and being CEO and inventor of Kwik Wipes in 2007-2010.
Brady will replace Melinda “Mindy” McCarty-Stewart, who has served the district as superintendent since July 2017. She is leaving to become superintendent at Kettering City School District.
The Wilmington-based Southern Ohio Educational Service Center assisted the Wilmington City Schools Board of Education in its search.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.