Superintendent Dennis Honkala announced Monday evening that he will retire at the end of the current 2020-2021 school year from the Ravenna School District. He will finish his current contract which ends July 31, 2021.
Honkala, who has served as Superintendent of Ravenna School for ten years, has worked in education for 33 years. He has been a high school teacher for nine years, a high school administrator for ten years and a Superintendent for fourteen years. Before coming to Ravenna he was the Superintendent in The Buckeye Local Schools in Medina County for four years.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished in Ravenna over the past decade,” Honkala said. “We have strong central office and building leadership throughout the district, an excellent staff, excellent athletic facilities and strong community support. That makes it the perfect time to hand this role to a new leader – and any leader would be fortunate to work for this School Board and serve this community”.
Honkala leaves a strong legacy of accomplishments over the past decade, including raising over $800,000 to fund the high school football / soccer /track and field facility / tennis courts, passing a permanent improvement levy that funded a new roof for West Park School, chromebooks for every student in the district, and has brought the bus fleet up to modern standards.
He recently guided the district through a building reorganization process that saves the district over 1.2 million dollars per year and will contribute to a strong financial position at a time of critical need due to imminent budget cuts coming from the state in Columbus.
“I feel that my most satisfying accomplishments were building community relationships to the point where businesses donated the $800,000 for the stadium renovations (2013), our 2016 Momentum Award from The State of Ohio for our academic improvements, the recent reorganization of the district to keep a positive operating balance, leading the district through the COVID-19 pandemic and creating, implementing and facilitating The Ravenna Schools Equity and Inclusion Task Force (2020). All of these are crucial pillars that will keep The Ravenna school District moving in the right direction for years to come.”
“I am excited to relax for a short while, but I still have energy left and I believe that my calling will always be in some type of public service,” Honkala added. “Being an old government teacher, I have always wanted to serve in local government. I may have an opportunity to do just that in the upcoming year!”