Turmoil and frustration for all involved with Scioto County Children’s Services have finally reached a time of new beginnings as the Scioto County Children’s Services Board has named a new Executive Director.
Jason Mantell of Wheelersburg has been named the Director and began his new job just a week ago. Mantell has been in education since graduating from college and has worn many hats on his journey to Children’s Services all in the field of education, from Wheelersburg, Wellston, Manchester, Athens City, Northwestern Local, and then his last position in Piketon. He has been a teacher, head football coach, assistant principal, athletic director, and finally at Piketon as The Director of Operations and Assistant Superintendent.
“We have been settled in Scioto County and have three children. I married my wife Lindsay, who I met while in Wellston we have been married for 15 years. She is an aide at Wheelersburg where our children attend, we have a daughter who is going into the eighth grade, Kate, a son, Braden, who is going in the seventh grade, and another daughter, Mia, who is going into the third grade,” Mantell said,
Mantell was asked what made him step out of education and into this new job, “I was at the point in my career where the next step would be Superintendent…when you have children, you want to make sure you put your kids in the best situation. What we had to determine, was where we want to be and our family is in this region. As I began looking and while looking for superintendent jobs, this came up and we talked about it. I contacted the people I know in social work and who I’ve met through working in school systems and they thought it would be something worth looking at. I’ve worked with Children for 20 years it appealed to me because, in this agency, you can make a huge impact on the most honorable group in this region. That’s the kids who need good quality adults the most. And as I was looking around for superintendencies, I thought in this agency, we can make a big if not bigger impact on children. As I had more discussions, this is something where I’m still working with children and I’m still working with school districts. I had a very positive feeling about serving the community. And it was nice to not only live in Scioto County but to work in Scioto County.”
Mantell added, “If I remain in a leadership role, not that I care about being the boss, I’d like to be able to have an impact on as many people as possible and this allowed for that. It has some similarities as superintendencies, but very different.”
Mantell said that it allows him to be in the county where he grew up and where his children are growing up in a place that they call home. He also said that that with so much uncertainty with COVID-19 that they felt that it was best that they stay here and this gave them all an opportunity to serve in this community.
Mantell talked about that one thing that both a superintendence and the director’s job have in common and that is the hours it may say they work, are not the true hours you spend working in either. He did say that it goes very quickly and that it’s nice and a good adjustment and change as he still gets to work with school systems. The board that Mantell has stepped in for is somewhat different, with new members, but some very good people like two new members, Dr. Mickell Rase, a pediatrician at SOMC, Sgt. John Howard from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, along with others like John Haas, Portsmouth City Solicitor, and Rodney Barnett, South Webster educator, all from different backgrounds which he says is nice because what one might not know, one of the others will have knowledge.
Mantell said due to the coronavirus, “It’s given our supervisors and employees time to reflect during the crisis.” It did give people in his office, time to reflect on some things and then as soon he got there, they put some things in places like accountability and things like that. I’m excited because this is a new opportunity for me and an opportunity for this agency to make appropriate adjustments and just be more successful.”
Mantell continued, “One thing I would like for people to recognize is that I don’t think people realize the time that people in the agency and employees put in. There are multiple people on call 24 hours, every day, every week, all year long. I don’t think people realize that, and I appreciate the dedication by our employees.”
Mantell finished with, “One of the goals I have, is to promote, is this is what we are doing for this community. We are going to focus on is improving our communication with the community what we do, what we can do, and some things we just can’t do. There are so many things that are confidential. I’m not going to focus on the past, we are going to learn from it. We are going to focus on moving forward. We have some wonderful new employees that are just ready to come into the agency. We have a good mix of quality people, this is a good opportunity for us to refocus and show the community that this agency has extreme value and is an important piece of the community.”
Mantell also spoke about that so many of the calls are from mandated ones through the schools and they are not getting that now. So they are looking forward to some order of normalcy and that once school is back, they will be very busy. They are going to be able to help those kids. He said he looks forward to his agency having a good relationship with the schools and plans on making sure that this relationship a very positive one, as the common goal is for the children.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights