Kuehnle Named High School Principal

Springfield High School campus director, who began his career as a social studies teacher in Maryland, chosen to fill post


Shaker Heights High School Principal Jonathan Kuehnle speaks with community members, parents, students and staff on March 7, 2016.

Updated at 6:55 p.m.

Jonathan Kuehnle will be the next principal of Shaker Heights High School. In the 2016-2017 school year, Kuehnle will replace Interim Principal James Reed III, who has served in this post this year after Michael Griffith resigned at the end of last school year.

“I’m very confident about the decision and having Mr. Kuehnle come and join the team,” Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. said. “I came to the decision from using the feedback from the community, using the leadership profile we established last spring to kind of guide the decision making and to identify all those contributing factors to make Mr. Kuehnle the best choice for Shaker Heights High School.”

The decision was announced at 4:30 p.m on the district webpage.

In the announcement, Hutchings stated that Kuehnle was hired after a “unanimous recommendation from an interview panel made up of teachers, parents and administrators” and “extensive input from Shaker faculty, staff, students and parents through focus groups.”

Hutchings said he believes the decision will “go over well with the community because we had a really strong process that was fair and very collaborative. I hope people will feel as if their voices were heard. I hope that everyone will be satisfied with their selection.”

Dr. John Morris, Shaker Heights Teachers’ Association president, said teachers would be disappointed. The SHTA published a letter in support of Reed early in the search process, before any other candidates were selected. 

“They did not consider the wishes of over 80 percent of the teachers, but we know we have a great school, a great community and great teachers; we will work well with any principal,” Morris said. Asked if the decision would harm teacher morale, Morris responded, “Yes.”

At his March 7 appearance in the large auditoriumKuehnle said that he foresees himself working and residing in Shaker. “In five years, I see myself in Shaker. In seven years, I see myself in Shaker. In 10 years, I see myself in Shaker. And ideally I would like to live where I work, so live in our community,  along with my wife and our three daughters who I would also like to  have attending school in Shaker,” Kuehnle said.

Kuehnle is currently campus director at Springfield High School in the Springfield City School District, southwest of Columbus. Springfield serves approximately 8,000 students. He has worked in the district for nearly three years and oversees five academies.

Previously, Kuehnle worked two years as district grants administrator for the Pickaway County Educational Service Center in Circleville (Ohio) City Schools, where he coordinated all district grants, including the federal Race to the Top program and the Ohio Teacher Incentive Fund.

He served as principal of Circleville High School for three years, achieving the school’s first “excellent” rating on school report cards and raising the school’s graduation rate from 78 percent to 91 percent.

Before that, he was assistant high school principal and athletic director for three years for the Wellston (Ohio) City Schools.

Kuehnle taught for six years in the Northwest Local School District near Cincinnati. He began his teaching career with the Baltimore County Public Schools in Maryland.

Kuehnle holds bachelor’s degrees in education, history and diplomacy from Miami University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Cincinnati. He earned a superintendent’s license from Ohio State University.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve as principal to Shaker,” Kuehnle said in the community meeting. “Shaker’s community cares deeply, meaningfully and truly about education, and that is something so inspirational to me.”

Journalism II Reporter Julia Barragate contributed reporting.

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