Mark Wilcheck was hired by the Minford School Board on Nov. 8 to replace Dennis Meade, who in August announced his plans to retire from the district on Jan. 1, 2009, after 23 years of service. Wilcheck worked alongside Meade during the last week of school, before Christmas break, and had his first solo day on Jan. 6 — one day after students returned, because he was ill on the first day.
During his first week at Minford, Wilcheck took time to meet with students and staff.
“One of the things I do is hand out paychecks on Fridays, so that gives me an opportunity to meet the staff individually. Of course it’s going to take me a little bit to know names, but as I hand out paychecks I get to meet teachers and I walk in the classroom and introduced myself to classes in the elementary, and met with some students in the high school,” he said.
Previously at Cardington Local Schools, north of Columbus, Wilcheck was also a finalist for the superintendent position at Portsmouth City Schools last year, ultimately losing the seat to current Portsmouth Superintendent Don Armstrong. He said he was happy to hear that Minford was looking for a superintendent also, because he really wanted to move to southern Ohio.
“I just like the hills, and being close to the Ohio River and Kentucky, and being able to go down to some of the Kentucky lakes. It’s recreational, because I’m a boater and avid water skier,” he said.
He also liked that Minford was a bit bigger than Cardington, by about 300 students.
Now officially on-the-job, he said the key is to continue the academic success of Minford Schools, and calls finance his biggest focus at this time.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, and it’s a great community. I’ve been welcomed very openly, and I really appreciate that. I really am looking forward to being down here and enjoy working with everybody here,” Wilcheck said.