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Key Communicator 6/24/22
Kirtland Local Schools
Key Communicator

Welcome to the Kirtland Schools’ Key Communicator e-newsletter. We hope to use this tool as a two-way form of communication to share the good news going on in our classrooms, and also provide you with facts in the event of negative situations. We hope you will act as informal communications liaisons with the community and let us know what you’re hearing so we can proactively provide you with the facts of what’s happening in your schools. Thank you for your support!


At the June 20, 2022, Board of Education meeting, Mr. Bob Race was approved as the next assistant principal of Kirtland Middle School. Race has taught middle school science for the past 16 years.  Most recently, he was a seventh-grade integrated science at Mayfield Middle School for the past eight years. “Working alongside the staff, students and community, we will continue to improve academic achievements and student experiences through meaningful instruction,” said Race. 

“We had over 50 applicants for this position.  Thirteen of the candidates received a first round interview and three were then brought to a committee of parents, staff and administrators,” said Superintendent Chad VanArnhem. “The committee was very impressed with Mr. Race’s background, focus on relationship building and knowledge of instructional practices to personalize learning.”

"We had a strong pool of candidates apply for this position,” said Scott Amstutz, 6-12 Principal.  “Throughout this process, Mr. Race continued to rise to the top because of his beliefs in immediately developing meaningful relationships with students, staff and parents. He has a strong instructional background that supports our building goals and our district strategic plan. He will bring new ideas and perspectives to support our teachers and continue to build a positive and productive climate and culture in the building. Mr. Race will be a phenomenal addition to our administrative staff and we are excited to welcome him to our community."  

Race received his Master of Education (Principal K-12)  from Wright State University and his Bachelor of Education (Middle Childhood) from The University of Toledo.  He resides in Chagrin Falls.

Mr. Leone is to be thanked and commended for his dedication to KMS and the district over the past four years. We wish him the best of luck as the new curriculum director at the Auburn Career Center.

Superintendent Chad VanArnhem presented some highlights and updates

  • Congratulations to Julie Prusock for being nominated for “UH Athletic Trainer of the Year,” the Kirtland football team for being nominated as the “Team of the Year” and Vince Debeljak for winning the “Best Media Mind” at the High School Standout award ceremony on June 15! 

  • The district administrators, guidance counselors and school resource officer (SRO) took part in a behavior threat assessment team training on June 6 to prepare for the upcoming school year. The goal of the program is to identify concerning behaviors, work closely with law enforcement, develop a universal risk assessment, conduct training for all staff, create a centralized reporting system and continue to promote a safe and school secure climate. Our school district already has many of these in place; this training allowed us to review them and continue to get better. 

  • On June 13, 2022, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 99 into law, which allows an employee of a school district to voluntarily be armed within the employing district’s school safety zone.  This law will become effective on September 12, 2022.  This legislation establishes the Ohio School Safety and Crisis Centers and Ohio Mobile Training Team to develop curriculum and provide instruction and training, including firearms training not to exceed 24 hours and up to eight hours of requalification training annually, to school employees seeking to be armed in a school safety zone. 

After discussion at the SLA and Board of Education meeting on June 20, 2022, we are not considering arming our staff at Kirtland Local Schools. We are very fortunate to have a school resource officer on our campus.  We will continue to have district safety meetings with the KPD and KFD and analyze our safety protocols. As stated in the message from Governor DeWine (Message from Governor DeWine Regarding School Safety), the preferred option over arming teachers is to have an SRO in the buildings.  We will strive to continue putting the safety of our students and staff at the forefront of our decisions. 

  • The school board voted to renew the shared service agreement for food services with the Mentor Exempted School District.  Prior to the shared service with Mentor, our district ran a financial deficit in this department.  Since joining this shared service with Mentor, our district has made a slight profit due to the streamlining of processes and staffing. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue with this shared service that provides quality to the district while being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers. 

 The Kirtland Local Schools are known for academic excellence and strong community support, and have been recognized nationally and statewide for educational achievement. The district also maintains a long tradition of distinction in a variety of extracurricular activities. The Board of Education provides open and thoughtful fiscal management of the community’s investment in the school district’s high quality educational program by ensuring every dollar spent benefits students and the community.

The Kirtland Local School District is located in Lake County and serves the City of Kirtland and most of the Villages of Kirtland Hills and Waite Hill, and small portions of Willoughby and Chardon Township.

Board notes and agendas can be found on the website at


Kirtland Local Schools - 9252 Chillicothe Road - Kirtland, OH 44094 - 440.256.3311

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