Tolles Career & Technical Center Superintendent Kim Wilson announced on Wednesday she will retire in August, ending a 36-year career in education.
The Tolles Board of Education is expected to accept her resignation during the April 20 regular meeting.
“Kim has performed a magnificent job as the superintendent for Tolles,” stated Curtis Brooks, Tolles Board President and representative from London City Schools. “Her professionalism and ability to network and collaborate with other career-technical organizations, business and industry leaders, and the community has greatly benefited our district.”
With an increased focus on performance and accountability, Wilson led efforts at Tolles to increase school-level innovation, advance career-technical opportunities for students outside of the Plain City campus, create district-level efficiencies, increase brand awareness and improve outreach efforts to increase student enrollment and retention.
“It has been my honor to serve as Superintendent of Tolles for the past six years. I’ve greatly enjoyed working with the Tolles staff, our associate schools, our many business partners, and community leaders in serving our students and strengthening our regional workforce,” stated Wilson. “Most importantly, I’ve been blessed to work with an outstanding Board of Education; they’ve never wavered in their commitment to excellence and accountability.”
During her tenure, student enrollment increased to an average of 1,500 students being served through both main campus and satellite programs, which grew from three when she began to 19.
She also led the creation of middle school career-technical education programs at several partnering school districts, one of the first to do so after the call by Governor Kasich to move career-tech into the lower grades. Tolles now hosts middle school programs with Fairbanks Local, Hilliard City, Jefferson Local and Jonathan Alder.
While at Tolles, her successful partnership in several Ohio Department of Education Straight-A Grants led to the formation of a health professions satellite program at Hilliard City Schools’ McVey Innovative Learning Center and the IT Academy satellite hosted at Dublin Scioto High School.
She also oversaw the implementation of a $1.5 million dollar grant to start a Robotics Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) Center on the Plain City campus to provide more relevant and modernized training to high school engineering students and to enable manufacturers to customize robotics and automation training for adults.
“I realize how blessed I’ve been to work in the field of education for 36 years alongside countless professionals in teaching and administration. I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of students over those years and watching them learn and discover their passions — how many careers allow you to do that? At Tolles we’ve made great strides in student achievement, program development, and financial stability,” Wilson said. “While we’ve faced many challenges, we’ve always remained focused on lifting all students. I’m very proud of the work we’ve accomplished.”
Wilson began her career in education as a business teacher at Warren County Career Center in 1981 and continued as both a business teacher and adult education instructor for 14 years at Butler County Career Center, Middletown City Schools, and Greene County Career Center.
She led the career-technical education programs at Mad River Local Schools in Dayton for five years before becoming superintendent at Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in 2003, where she led an enrollment increase from 456 students to 1,559 students overall from 2003-2011. In 2011 she was named the fourth superintendent at Tolles.
The school board will hold a work session on April 3 at 6:30 p.m. in the board office to begin planning the search for the next superintendent. The meeting is expected to go into executive session with no further action taken. Wilson will continue to lead the district through the end of July.