Indian Hill is unique.
Before I joined the Indian Hill School District as the Superintendent of Schools in the fall of 2019, that was the statement I heard from people both inside and outside of education.
I have now learned what this means.
The students – present and past – showed me:
A history-making ACT composite score of 27 set by the Class of 2018 and maintained by the Class of 2019, followed by an ACT composite of 25.7 – still five points above the national average – earned by our Class of 2020 who endured the onset of COVID-19, and navigated an unprecedented senior year with grace.
Our Indian Hill High School Class of 1987 graduate and current President and CEO of McDonald’s Chris Kempczinski addressing the Class of 2020 during a virtual graduation presentation, assuring those students the skills they departed with will serve them in the future – even as global leaders.
Two students, Sophie Chabris and Vandita Rastogi, each featured by NBC Network News for their volunteer experience; both students are exemplar examples of service to others, an integral part of the Global Competence focus area of our strategic plan for transformational excellence.
From one student, sophomore Emery Cunningham, being selected into the prestigious Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Nouveau Program, to the 88 students who took the stage and worked behind the scenes this year to make our live performance of Pow Wow a reality, to the 16 student-athletes who have committed to continuing their athletic careers in college, to three-time state champion swimmer sophomore Gibson Holmes, I stand in awe of all our students accomplish within the arts and athletics at Indian Hill.
The faculty showed me:
Masters within their industry, 90 percent of our educators have earned a Master’s degree or higher.
Award-winning instruction: Sue Savage, University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator; Aaron Debbink, Yale Educator Award; Lindsay Kearns, College Board Counselor Recognition; Mark Atwood, U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Distinguished Teacher… to name a few.
Our people make the difference for our students: Indian Hill is ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 7 in the country according to Niche; ranked No. 5 in the state by U.S. News and World Report; and has been a “Best Communities for Music Education” the past seven consecutive years.
The community showed me:
Public and inclusive, an invitation was mailed to every District resident in the fall of 2018 to be a part of the assessment process for facilities; followed by the development of two community-based committees to dive deep into needs for both facilities and operations; the recommendation by these informed residents for our Board of Education to move forward with a combined operational/bond levy issue, and our Board’s honoring of that 3-year public research process.
Indian Hill is unique.
May 4, this community will determine how we will Build a Brave Future.
Our District will be on the ballot for a 5.43 mill combined operating/bond levy. The estimated cost of the May 4 ballot issue is approximately $190.05/year ($ 15.84/month) per $100,000 of property market value per the County Auditor’s website. The bond issue is a 30-year financial commitment to generate $77 million for our facilities – that total includes the replacement of Indian Hill Middle School and the replacement of the Indian Hill Elementary School “sawtooth” wing; security upgrades at every building; and necessary mechanical upgrades across the District. The operational levy will be a 5-year commitment, with an option to place a renewal on a future ballot. The last operational levy for the District was on the ballot in 1993; the Board did not renew this levy when it expired. The last facility project was in front of the voters in 2001.
Fact: The CARES ACT and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) were established to provide targeted financial assistance due to COVID-19, and this money does not address the need that the $3.3 million per year for five years in operating funds that would be generated through the May 4 ballot issue addresses.
Fact: If the levy fails in May, our Board of Education would need to consider district-wide cuts and reductions in the people and programs who have long served the children within this District.
Fact: If the levy fails in May, buildings will continue to deteriorate, which results in even higher costs in the future.
These are the facts our District has worked diligently to share with you, our investor who we value. You have the information; May 4, the decision on the direction for our schools is ultimately in your hands.
Two years into serving our students, our staff, and our community, what I can tell you with absolute certainty is this: Indian Hill is unique in amazing ways. Our #IHPromise to you is to continue to deliver the unparalleled educational services for the children who attend public school within this community – the services you both expect and deserve.
In service to our children,
Indian Hill School District
Posted April 26, 2021