WELLSTON — At the end of October, the Wellston City School (WCS) District said “goodbye” to Karen Boch as she retired after 11 years as superintendent.
“I am most proud of our students and staff’s accomplishments over the last 11 years,” Boch told The Courier. “Everything we do at WCS is about providing opportunities and systems for our students to learn and grow.”
Boch said, “With the support of their teachers, coaches, advisors, etc., our students are provided with the support necessary to reach outside their comfort zone and keep moving forward.”
Boch began her career with the school district in Aug. 2007, which was three years prior to her becoming the superintendent. From Aug. 2007 through July 2010, she served as the director of curriculum and instruction for the school district. In Aug. 2010, she was hired as superintendent, a position she held through Oct. 29, 2021.
“There have been many proud moments,” said Boch. “From graduation to students doing well academically to students making progress to coming together when there is a tragic event.”
Boch went on to note some other proud moments like the Wellston Golden Rocket Marching Band receiving a superior rating; athletic teams being successful; Model UN teams and individuals doing well, and the Art Club working together on painting murals.
“Before the pandemic, our Local Report Card results saw a steady increase due to our staff and admin’s hard work and dedication to supporting student learning,” explained Boch. “Another proud moment is partnering with Wellston Police Department and Wellston Fire Department to enhance and improve the safety of our schools/district.”
Boch said, “Also working with Nationwide Children’s along with area behavioral and mental health providers to enhance services to our students. The list goes on and on.”
Boch recalled the challenging, but rewarding work with remediation of the original project’s (school) buildings and learning about HVAC.
“I still laugh today because, at the board meeting in March 2010, a Board Of Education member said that I wouldn’t have to deal with construction,” recalled Boch. “Well... here we are today, and we are still working with various construction projects.”
Boch said, “It started with finishing the bus garage project and reinforcing the structures of Wellston Intermediate School/Wellston Middle School (WIS/WMS), and Wellston High School (WHS). It then moved to remediation of the asphalt by rebuilding and stabilizing the base.
“Thankfully, John Carey was instrumental in helping us get assistance. After replacing the asphalt, the WHS gym floor had to be removed entirely and the concrete had to be leveled as there was a two-inch incline from the parking lot to the cafetorium.
“In the middle of all of this, we have been working to improve our HVAC systems — this is never-ending. Our final remediation project was to replace the roofing systems of WIS/WMS and WHS.”
Boch said that the ESPN Rise Up program and the track/soccer field complex have been the “most exciting” of all the projects.
“The track/soccer field took a lot of hard work and required learning about mine subsidence,” said Boch. “Luckily, there is local expertise to help — Jack Huffman.”
Boch added, “It would be impossible to name everyone; but, no matter what the situation, there have been so many businesses and people who have provided so much support to Wellston City Schools (WCS). I want to thank everyone for their support over the years. I am overwhelmed and blessed to have had the opportunity to be part of the WCS family.”
Prior to Wellston, Boch served 15 years in the Alexander Local Schools. She served as an intervention specialist (1992-2001), Elementary Principal (2001-2004), and Director of Curriculum and Instruction (2004-2007).
Boch had her Master’s Degree in Education Administration, while her Bachelor’s was in Special Education. Both degrees were earned at Ohio University.
A retirement open house was held for Boch on Sunday, Oct. 10, at the Wellston Depot. Many in the community stopped by to wish her a happy retirement.