By Kristin Bednarski
M.E. Steele-Pierce, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning at West Clermont Local School District, will be retiring Dec. 31.
Steele-Pierce said she felt it was the right time to retire both professionally and personally from her more than 30-year career at the district.
“It really is a good time to step aside,” Steele-Pierce said.
Steele-Pierce said she feels it is a good time for fresh ideas and new leadership in the district, and she is also looking forward to joining her husband in retirement.
Steele-Pierce began her work with the district more than 30 years ago.
Before she was employed at the district, Steele-Pierce said she volunteered at her children’s school, Clough Pike Elementary School.
She said she went on to do work as a para professional in special education at Glen Este High School.
“It was my work there that I was really motivated and inspired by the teachers there,” Steele-Pierce said. “I decided I wanted to get my teaching license.”
After completing the requirements and receiving her teaching license, Steele-Pierce said she was hired as an English teacher at Amelia High School.
She said the principal of Amelia High School helped her grow as a leader, and she went on to work briefly at the Clermont County Educational Service Center.
“I was recruited back to West Clermont by Dr. Devine,” Steele-Pierce said.
She said she worked with Dr. Dennis Devine and Dr. Michael Ward doing curriculum and instruction work as well as some communications work.
“I did a lot of work with Dr. Ward and was assigned his assistant superintendent when he became superintendent,” Steele-Pierce said.
She said her job evolved to assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, and she remained an assistant to Dr. Gary Brooks when he became superintendent of the district.
Steele-Pierce said she has enjoyed her time at the district, especially working with all of the other staff.
“Always, it doesn’t matter what project, my favorite part about what I do is working directly with teachers and principals to help them become better in the schools and in the classroom,” Steele-Pierce said.
Steele-Pierce said she has been able to personally get to know nearly all 450 teachers.
“Dr. Brooks says I am part of the institution DNA,” Steele-Pierce said. “Like a giant family where you have history with many people. It changes the nature of managing programs when you know the staff so well.”
Brooks, who also recently announced his retirement from the district, said Steele-Pierce has done a lot for West Clermont.
“She’s got a vast amount of experience and is certainly bright, articulate and well-regarded by the district and community,” Brooks said. “She will be missed.”
Steele-Pierce said she expects she will still be connected with the West Clermont Local School District community after her final day Dec. 31, but has no set plans yet.
“My intention is to find some meaningful volunteer work, a fun hobby and then look for part-time work that would be significant for me,” Steele-Pierce said.
She said before pursuing anything else she will enjoy a few months of complete retirement.
“My husband’s prescription for me is two months of total rest and play,” Steele-Pierce said.
Steele-Pierce said she is grateful to have had the opportunity to work at West Clermont Local School District, and hopes that the district will continue to grow and embrace change in the future.
“When I got to speak to the board, I wanted the board, and the community, and the teachers to know how grateful I’ve been,” Steele-Pierce said. “It’s such a privilege to work there. It has been a journey and an investment.”