BLOOMINGDALE - He's served as superintendent of the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School for 12 years, but Dale Edwards said it's time to end his educational career on a high note.
Edwards' retirement is effective Tuesday, after which District Supervisor Todd Phillipson takes the reins. Edwards leaves after the successful passage of the seven-year, 1-mill operating levy was approved by district voters in the November election, as well as successful negotiations with the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School Teachers' Association for a new contract for teachers at the school.
Edwards previously was superintendent of the Harrison Hills City School District for 14 years, where he oversaw consolidation of the county school district. He leaves JVS feeling he's accomplished his goals, he said.
RETIREMENT — Dale Edwards, superintendent of the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, leaves his education career on a high note after the passage of the seven-year, 1-mill operating levy and successful negotiations with the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School Teachers’ Association for a new contract for teachers at the school. Here Edwards, left, received a plaque from the district board handed to him by Todd Phillipson, district supervisor, thanking him for his 12 years of service to the district. Edwards’ last official day as superintendent will be Tuesday, after which Phillipson takes over. — Contributed
"When I was selected as superintendent, I was asked by board members - how long would I like to serve as an administrator at the JVS," said Edwards. "I told them at least eight years. I have been at the JVS 12 years. I still enjoy going to work every day and being part of a team that provides to the students who attend the JVS the best education possible."
Larry George, JVS board president, said Edwards provided leadership and direction in the district, and always kept the school up to date on what was required of students seeking a vocational education.
"Dale has been a great superintendent to the JVS," said George. "His insight into (vocational education) has taken us to the next level."
George also said Edwards stayed ahead of the education curve by attending regional and state seminars on vocational training. adding Edwards was a leader, a good listener, worked very well with board members and staff and those on the school's technology service committees.
"He spent a lot of time in regional and state meetings so we would know what was coming down the line," said George.
"He's been a very good leader for us," he continued. "I'm very proud we hired him. We're also very happy with our incoming superintendent (Phillipson), partly because he was trained by Edwards."
Dorothy Blaner, Edwards' secretary for the past 12 years, also praised Edwards for his leadership qualities.
"He was a great person to work for," she said. "He was very detail-oriented. He was someone others in education would look to for advice.
"Foremost in his thoughts was the education of students at the JVS," she continued. "He wanted them to have the best equipment for their education."
Like George, Blaner said Edwards was educated on the cutting edge of vocational training and what was coming ahead.
She added he was a Rotarian, a past president of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, a member of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools, a member of the Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents and sits on the advisory board for the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Edwards said he leaves the position with warm feelings for his co-workers.
"I have been very fortunate to have worked with wonderful board members, a great staff, talented administrators and a superb treasurer," said Edwards. "These are memories I will cherish forever.
"During my 42-year career I have had the privilege to meet fantastic students and parents, top-notch residents who support their school and the honor to coach some of the finest athletes in the Ohio Valley," he continued. "Their display of sportsmanship will never be forgotten. Many people can be thanked for helping me over the years - in fact, so many it would be impossible to name them all. However, I am especially thankful for the support I received from family and most grateful to my wife, Margaret, whose guidance was always present."