Crestwood Superintendent David Toth grew up only a few miles from the district he now leads, and might not be married if not for a Portage County amusement park.
Toth, 46, was raised in Aurora Shores, a development just outside the county limits in Reminderville. He met his wife, Lori, while both were working at Geauga Lake, on the Aurora border.
Now settled in his office, located on the second story of a house on West Prospect Street in Mantua, Toth is spending any of his available time at sporting events, Rotary Club meetings, meetings with public officials in the three townships and two villages that make up the Crestwood district.
"I've been pursing all the different avenues to getting to know people in the district, and getting feedback from them, and also building relationships with them," he said.
He's also been sending his profile to everyone in the district, and is slowly getting their information in return.
The Solon resident and his wife have four daughters, Mattison, 10, Hannah, 8, and 6-year-old twins Kayla and Maya.
The former high school principal, most recently at West Geauga High School in Chesterland, said he sees a lot of similarities between his previous job and this one.
Toth replaces Joe Iacano, who retired this summer after 10 years in Crestwood and 35 years in education. Iacano's parting gift to his successor was a "piece of cake" award, joking that the job involves "only 294 events to attend" and involves only having "five bosses" on the Board of Education.
Last November, voters approved a 4.7-mill additional tax levy. The levy will generate $1.4 million per year for four years, going toward educational programs in the district. Toth hasn't been around long enough to know whether another request is on the horizon, but suspects that along the way, he's sure to make decisions that won't be universally popular.
John Witkosky, president of the board of education at Southeast, said this spring that being a superintendent is a "thankless job" with unfunded mandates and diminishing money from the state.
Toth acknowledged that any job in leadership can be thankless at times.
"What you look for is whether you made a difference in a kid's life somehow," he said. "When a kid walks across your graduation stage and he shakes your hand and you wish him a bright future, I think that's the thanks you get."
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