Broadwater is in town and on the job early. He sat down with me in Loveland earlier this week and talked about getting started last week even though his contract does not officially begin as Superintendent for LCSD until August 1. Clearly, he’s excited about his new position with Loveland Schools. Sure, he knows he faces challenges, but he is confident his prior experience as teacher, coach, and several different levels of school administrator (not to mention life experiences) have prepared him well to continue moving Loveland Schools forward as a premier school district in Ohio.
“I came in early in June,” said Broadwater. “I’ve done a lot trying to get to know the community and community members. The last week-and-a-half I’ve been in four or five days. I unpacked my boxes last week.”
He says Brad Neavin has been a great resource and credits him with doing a great job during his time in the district. They share similar viewpoints on many things.
“I think it’s going to be a good transition,” Broadwater said. “I call him, if not every day, then every other day to get his ideas and talk about what he’d seen. We want to make our own decisions, but I want to make informed decisions. I trust Brad.”
Broadwater is all about the kids and knows part of making right decisions for the kids is listening to the community. He believes Neavin was very good about getting out into the community and looks forward to getting out into the community personally to become better informed about the wants and needs for the district.
Not just the community though, but also the legislators to address the legislative issues (public school funding for example) which impact how schools operate and educate the students. Not to mention, how legislative action impacts the community as a whole.
“What affects schools financially is the state funding models,” he said. “In my opinion, it is not set up equitably. That’s where the taxpayers of Loveland need to understand the state controls a lot of what happens with school finances.”
The financial health of the Loveland Schools is certainly going to be a focus of his efforts as Superintendent. He says schools are simply asking to be a voice at the table with regard to state school legislation. Beyond that, he has his priorities as he begins his term with Loveland Schools.
“The number one priority for me is communication,” said Broadwater. “We want to communicate in a timely manner.”
What does that look like? Will we hear from the Superintendent weekly? Monthly? There is a plan.
“We’ve developed an action plan,” Broadwater explained. “We’ll sit down with the planning commission the district has and listen to their input and how to tweak the plan. To me the biggest thing is communicating. I always say communications is trust and trust is communication. I just need to make sure we’re communicating with everyone.”
Communications develop the trust. Once a trust is developed, Broadwater says the people begin to believe what you are communicating. For him, they go hand-in-hand. He wants to continue the personal communication with the community, engaging people one-on-one as an effective way of giving them a voice. More importantly, he is listening and hearing the community views on Loveland Schools. There’s more than just communications at the top of his priorities.
“I would put second; for our Loveland student, staff and community to realize we are a premier district in the State of Ohio,” said Broadwater. “We should be very proud of everything that we do. We have one of the best staffs in the state. You can look at academic performance, what they did for kids last year through all this; just the community coming together to realize we do have a beacon in the Loveland City Schools. We should be very proud of it.”
Broadwater is genuinely excited about being a part of the Loveland City School District. He expresses a strong desire to recognize the good which already exists and then build on that. It is, for him, most exciting when the teachers and the kids are in the classroom. Being early on the job, is the work. Seeing the people, the full classrooms and extracurricular activities in full swing; that’s the fun for Mike Broadwater, Superintendent, Loveland City School District.
“There’s a reason I wanted to come to this district,” Broadwater said. “I felt like I could build upon the great things going on right now. I’m not going anywhere. This is where I wanted to be. I’m here as long as the board and the community want me to be here. This is the perfect place for my career and everything I’ve done to just use it.”
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