NEWCOMERSTOWN – A local educator has been selected as the new school district superintendent for the exempt village of Newcomerstown and he brings to the position a love for schools and the community.
Jason Peoples, a 1996 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2001 graduate of Muskingum University, was chosen to lead the school district, following Superintendent Jeff Staggs, who accepted a new job for Madison Schools.
“Newcomerstown has always been my home,” said Peoples. “I have vivid memories of being a student-athlete in these halls, and this pride in our schools is only growing day by day. My parents taught me the value of hard work, humility and respect from an early age. My childhood teachers, coaches and administrators who later became colleagues and mentors inspired me to become the educator that I am today. These same values and mentors still guide me today.
After returning to Newcomerstown in 2001 and beginning his teaching career as a college social studies professor, Peoples continued his own studies at Muskingum University earning a Masters in Education. Prior to 2008, he also took courses to obtain an administrative license to be a school principal for 4-9 year olds and 6-12 year olds and supervise teaching, while also qualifying for a superintendent’s license.
This education led Peoples to accept the post of principal of Newcomerstown Middle School, a post he has held for 13 years.
But he said becoming a school principal was an aspiration that came to him more recently.
“Teaching, coaching and mentoring children in Newcomerstown has always been my passion,” said Peoples. “When the stress of administrative tasks gets on me, the first step I take is to walk into our hallways, classrooms and sports venues to support and talk to our children. The students of Newcomerstown reaffirm my goal as an educator.
“As my tenure in administration continued, I began to see my leadership transform into a passion for thinking and growing as a leader. It got me to where I am today.
“Although I have been a teacher / coach and even an administrator / coach, I firmly believe that as educators we serve student-athletes (in that order). and the well-being of children. We have some of the most caring, passionate and caring teachers and support staff you could ask for! “
But there are challenges, as Peoples recognizes.
“Sportingly, we’ve been struggling lately year on year, but our college programs over the past few years have been successful,” he noted. “I believe building a culture of success starts with our young levels and builds as students get older. Effective mentoring is essential for both athletes and coaches.
“When we as educators, coaches, administrators, parents and community members are proud of our schools and community programs, our children reap the benefits.
“Coming back to my alma mater and becoming the first Newcomerstown graduate to become superintendent in many decades gives me more reason to strive to create the best possible environment for our staff and students. Teachers, support staff, parents, community members, and most importantly our children – continue to make me proud to be a Trojan horse. Go Trojans! “
Randy Addy, chairman of the Newcomerstown Board of Education, said board members faced a wealth, so to speak, in their search for who would run Newcomerstown schools in the future.
“At the end of the day, we thought our top two nominees had grown up here and were both directors here,” Addy said, “and they were Jason Peoples and Brian Collins.” Collins is currently the principal of the East School in Newcomerstown.
“I think I speak for every member of the board when I say we would have been happy with either one as superintendent. It’s difficult when you have two excellent local candidates for the same position. In the end, you have to choose one and we chose Jason. We’ve already seen him do some good things this week. We believe he will lead our district in an excellent direction.
Peoples currently resides in Newcomerstown with my wife, Erin, and their two daughters. Her hobbies include reading leadership books, coaching, participating in her daughters’ activities, hunting and fishing. His wife, Erin, is currently the principal of West School for the Newcomerstown Exempt Village School District.