Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Blog

It takes teamwork to make the dream work

Spotlight on Switzerland of Ohio – part 2

by Linda Knicely, Consultant, Battelle for Kids | Jun 29, 2015
IMG_3292

Bobbi Jo Johnson, Literacy Coach, and Jennifer Bohach, School Counselor, two field educators from one of the newest OAC member districts, Switzerland of Ohio, are known for their innovative approaches to education. In our last blog post, they shared the successes that Switzerland has had this past year.

In this post, we visit with them with a little Q & A to share background on how their successes began, and what roadblocks they faced. It’s hard to believe that prior to working together on the OAC Straight A Grant, Bobbi Jo and Jennifer had never met. Now they collaborate daily.
  

Linda: How did you get involved in the Straight A implementation team work?

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer:
We were told by administration to attend a 2-day session in Columbus, and neither of us knew what it was about nor our current role in the grant.

 

Linda: How would you describe your roles in advancing improvement with Switzerland of Ohio schools?

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer:
We worked at merging new concepts that we had learned through the grant to areas of weaknesses in the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District (SOLSD).

 

Linda: In eight words or less (per audience), how have the opportunities provided through the Straight A grant impacted each?

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer:
  • Students – increased engagement and College & Career Preparedness (CCP)
  • Staff – provided opportunities for credentialing and professional development
  • Community – spurred increased public awareness of opportunities


Linda: What has been your greatest challenge in accomplishing the gains described in the infographic that was shared in our first blog post?

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer: Getting people to embrace a new way of doing things. For example, video conferencing – our high schools went from zero video conferencing capabilities to all three having video conferencing capable rooms in just one year.

 

Linda: What has been the greatest reward realized through Switzerland of Ohio’s participation in the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative?

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer: The support and network we have amongst our colleagues. There’s such great potential for a bright future with all of our member districts.

  

Linda: Would you like to send some “shout-outs” to others that have contributed to Switzerland of Ohio’s reform efforts?

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer: Superintendent John Hall and Treasurer Lance Erlwein - for giving us the independence to initiate change in the areas that were the high priorities in our district.

 

Linda: Do you have any final bits of advice for other districts?

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer: Dip your toes in the water to get started in something new.  Don’t jump into the deep end. 

 

Bios:

Bobbi Jo Johnson – Literacy Coach, Pathways, Dual Enrollment. Bobbi Jo has taught kindergarten for 37 years in a neighboring district, and was hired in SOLSD in 2013 as a literacy coach.  She also serves as a high school swim coach and summer league swim coach in the area.

Jennifer Bohach – PDC, Pathways, Dual Enrollment. Jennifer has taught elementary and middle school music for 28 years in the SOLSD.  She serves as the River High School Guidance Counselor, a position she has held since 2013. Jennifer is actively involved with her own children’s activities as a band parent and swim parent volunteer. For more, follow her on Twitter.