Harrison Hills

WHEN YOU package leadership with teamwork, great things can be accomplished.

The Harrison Hills School District recently shed itself of the state’s fiscal caution designation. Those two aforementioned ingredients helped to cook up a successful financial recipe.

Superintendent Dr. George Ash and board of education members provided the leadership while teamwork was anted up by the district’s staff in carrying out the deficit-reducing game plan.

Harrison Hills’ plight was made tougher when the state imposed $1 million in funding cuts. District officials, however, stayed the course, focusing on the task at hand.

We commend Harrison Hills for making the most with less while climbing out of red ink. It speaks volumes for the vision and wherewithal possessed by the district’s hierarchy as well as the boundless pride and caring embodied by its staff.

To reach the goal, tough decisions had to be made and executed. Some schools were closed and many jobs were impacted. Sacrifices were made aplenty.

Dr. Ash and the board also took some innovative steps, implementing a shared service plan with Buckeye Local, lowering health care costs and making buildings more energy efficient.

The austerity movement yielded pleasing results, as the district was declared solvent last month by the Office of Finance Program Services for the Ohio Department of Education.

The positive news took on an even brighter glow when the state reported Harrison Hills — through its adept planning — should not experience a deficit the next two fiscal years.

Currently, 22 districts across Ohio fall under fiscal caution, with five in fiscal watch and eight under an emergency designation. We are extremely proud that Harrison Hills is no longer one of those ailing districts.

The state education funding formula remains out of whack, putting Eastern Ohio districts behind the eight ball. Harrison Hills School District officials, however, have exhibited the ability to navigate through choppy financial water, a practice we expect to continue.