Jason Longbrake is right where he wants to be as he takes over as principal at Swanton High School.
Longbrake had planned on leaving the school district for Cory-Rawson before the principal spot in Swanton became available. “I always knew I wanted to become a principal, and the opportunity to stay in the Swanton Local school district was a dream come true,” he said.
Longbrake gave an emotional address at Swanton’s 2015 commencement ceremony. Mixed emotions about leaving the district came through as he spoke.
“The Swanton Local school district is filled with caring and compassionate educators who make student success their number one priority,” he said. “It is refreshing to come to work every day knowing that you’re working with students and staff who you truly care about, and who have the same goals and vision as you do.”
Longbrake added that he is looking forward to meeting the parents and community members who take as much pride in the schools as the staff does.
“I truly believe it takes the help of all stakeholders in the community to make a school great,” he said. “By working together, we can provide our students with the resources that allow them to achieve anything they put their minds to.”
Originally from Fostoria, Longbrake graduated from Fostoria Senior High School in 1992. After graduation, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources with a specialization in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from The Ohio State University. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in AYA Integrated Social Studies, as well as a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Bowling Green State University.
He previously taught one year at Old Fort High School, and spent the past four years at Swanton High School.
Swanton Superintendent Jeff Schlade complimented Longbrake’s flexibility, commitment, and management style as he transitioned from the traditional classroom setting to becoming the Swanton Virtual Academy teacher-coordinator.
“That role enabled him to show off the people skills attained when he worked in retail management prior to entering education,” said Schlade. “We expect this new role as high school principal will continue to provide him with more opportunities to put those skills to good use for the benefit of our students and families.”
“I wanted to become a principal because I think the leadership a principal can provide to a school is critical to its success,” Longbrake said. “I truly enjoy working with educators, as well as students, staff, and community members.”
He said teachers are some of the most influential people in a young person’s life. “To be able to be a part of that, and see the growth and success students achieve, is the most gratifying part of my job.”
As he begins his first year at the helm, Longbrake does not foresee making any drastic changes right away.
“I want to work with our teachers, staff, administration, students, and community members to provide the best education possible for the students in our schools,” he said. “By working together, I know we can prepare our students for a successful life after school.”
Drew Stambaugh can be reached at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise