Mt. Orab resident Neil Leist has been appointed the new superintendent of the Clermont Northeastern School District.
Leist will begin the new position this Fall when current superintendent Ralph Shell retires at the end of the current school year.
“One of the reasons I accepted the position is because I am very comfortable with the CNE Board of Education,” he said. “They, like myself, are committed to educational excellence. I am looking forward to working with them to ensure that every student in the district receives an outstanding education.”
Leist has been the principal of the CNE Elementary for the past four years. Under his leadership as principal last year, CNE Elementary School received an excellent rating by the Ohio Department of Education.
"Since I came to the district four years ago, the community and the people have reminded me of the small town that I grew up in," he said.
Born in Pike County, Ohio, Leist was raised on a large farm in Stockdale (complete with saw mill), about 80 miles directly east of Cincinnati. After graduating from Eastern High School, he earned a teaching degree from Morehead State University.
Leist is currently the principal at CNE Elementary and is continuing his education at Xavier University.
Leist, who has lived in Mt. Orab the past five years with his wife Candy, and four children, Lindsey, 15, Leah, 11, Neil Jr., 2, and newborn Tucker (born Jan. 11), said that under the guidance of Ralph Shell, the atmosphere of the school district in the past four years has been on an extraordinary upswing.
"There has been a noticeable shift in the attitudes of people towards the school district in a more positive way in the past few years," he said. "I plan on keeping it moving in that direction by being out of the office and meeting parents, community members, and business leaders."
By this approach, Leist feels, and Clermont Northeastern Board of Education agrees, that the future success of the school district is assured.
"Mr. Leist has done a wonderful job while at CNE," said board president Jayne Mummert. "He has a welcoming personality and an open door policy which improves communication with students, parents, and staff."
Mummert also said that Leist examines every situation and creates the most cost effective method to achieve positive results.
Student success, staff development, and financial accountability continues to be the primary objectives of the Board, the staff, and the administration of the school district, Mummert said.
"Our school district has improved tremendously over the past few years and we look forward to continuing that success with Mr. Leist as superintendent."