Wauseon Middle School Principal Joe Friess was recently given the unique opportunity of traveling to Columbus to job-shadow Julia Simmerer, the senior executive director at the Ohio Department of Education.
Coordinated by the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, the trip proved to be eye-opening, Friess said.
“Having the responsibility of writing policy that reflects the intent of the Ohio State legislature as well as the governor, responding to the varying needs and questions of educators throughout the State of Ohio, and processing all of the data related to tests and student information are, in and among themselves, enormous tasks,” he said. “To be responsible for them all requires talented and dedicated people to pull it off.
“The people that I interacted with were very open to my being there, and shared freely. They have to make a lot of important decisions on a daily basis. It truly gave me a new perspective on, and appreciation for, what they do.”
Friess’ visit followed one by Simmerer to Wauseon’s middle and elementary schools on Oct. 6.
Coordinated by the OASSA, the reciprocal program was developed to increase understanding and communication between ODE and field-level leaders through shared information visits to each other’s work places. The program also helps participating OASSA members associate names with faces at the department.