UC and Waynesville Leaders in Talks to Form Education Partnership

One site, the University of Cincinnati, is famous for the discovery of the world’s first oral polio vaccine and the first antihistamine. The other site is the reputed “Antiques Capital of the Midwest” and celebrates the largest annual festival of its kind in the United States, the Sauerkraut Festival, in October. Now, administrators for UC and the Village of Waynesville in Warren County are discussing a possible new partnership in higher education.

Anthony J. Perzigian, UC senior vice president and provost for baccalaureate and graduate education, and Lawrence J. Johnson, dean for the UC College of Education, met with village and education leaders in Waynesville on April 28. The visit included touring possible sites for establishing UC programs in Waynesville.

It’s no secret in the Tristate that Warren County has seen dramatic growth over the past decade—a 39 percent increase according to the last U.S. Census Bureau statistics. Waynesville, a village founded in 1797, is older than the state of Ohio.

Tom Isaacs, superintendent for Wayne Local Schools, says the village is witnessing a large increase of professionals with college degrees, and they’re planning ahead for the education of their children. “Our school district sends between 75-80 percent of our high school graduates to college, and we have one of the highest student achievement high schools in the state of Ohio.”

UC currently offers classes and distance-learning programs at the Warren County Center in Lebanon. UC College of Education Dean Lawrence J. Johnson says a new UC presence in Waynesville would bring about “exciting new opportunities” for people pursuing a higher education.

UC Provost Anthony J. Perzigian says the tour revealed space in existing buildings where UC could take residency. “They’re thinking pretty ambitiously on this,” Perzigian says, adding that UC will host a planning meeting on the idea in May.

Village and county representatives at the meeting included Warren County Commissioner Pat Arnold Smith, Waynesville Mayor Ernie Lawson, Wayne Township Trustee Gus Edwards and Waynesville Village Manager Rod Smith. Local educational representatives in attendance included: Tom Isaacs, superintendent for Wayne Local Schools; John Sackett, president of the Wayne Local Board of Education; John Lazares, superintendent of the Warren County Educational Service Center; E. John Raab, president of the Warren County Educational Service Center; Fern Bishop, a member of the governing board for the Warren County Educational Service Center; Jiles Farley, board member for the Wayne Local Schools Administration; David Hurley, board member for the Wayne Local Schools Administration; Waynesville High School Principal Randy Gephardt; Waynesville High School Guidance Counselor Cathy Jofreda; Waynesville Middle School Principal Mike Doyle; Waynesville Elementary Principal Jean Hartman; and Ron James, treasurer and CFO of the Wayne Local School District.

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