Avon Middle School Principal Craig Koehler is retiring at the end of July after more than 43 years in education. Under his leadership, Avon Middle School was named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Koehler joined the administrative team of the Avon Local School District in 1994. Having a school guidance and counseling background, he moved into administration after receiving two master’s degrees in education and an educational specialist degree. In 1988 he began work on his doctorate at Kent State University and earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration (Leadership K-12 with dissertation studies in Transformational Leadership). In 1995 Koehler earned his certification in school superintendence from the Ohio Department of Education.
“One of the greatest joys of my life has been to have the honor and privilege of being instrumental in assembling a dynamic professional team at Avon Middle School that is like no other,” Koehler said.
Over four decades, Koehler has witnessed many changes in education and students.
“I have seen certain trends at different times,” he said. “Kids’ needs have relatively stayed the same, but I think challenges change from time to time. The advent of the electronic era and increase in technology has made it more complicated for families and children to navigate through.”
One of his best memories with the Avon district was when the middle school came into its own as a separate school. “When we first became a middle school in 1998, as we had been a part of the high school and did not have our own identity. We were able to form that identity as a ‘brand new’ school in the Avon district. Also, having the honor and privilege of working to build our new current middle school building will always be a highlight for me.”
“I would like to thank Dr. Koehler for his years of service to the Avon Local Schools, our students and their families,” Superintendent Mike Laub said. “As superintendent, I am appreciative of his hard work and the positive contributions he made to Avon Middle School and our district. As a parent of two students who attended Avon Middle School, I feel fortunate they had the opportunity to attend a building he led. I wish him the best as he transitions to a time of rest and relaxation, as he deserves it.”
Koehler is an accomplished author. He has authored a series of fantasy novels for middle and young-adult readers titled “So Many Secrets.” His latest literary work, “Sea Without a Shore (book five),” was released this past February. The artist and illustrator behind the series is Stacy M. Cislo, Avon Middle School art teacher. Fantasy and science fiction readers can follow the adventures at www.somanysecretsseries.com.
Koehler is married and has two daughters (one is pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology, while the other practices in the field of occupational therapy), and has one grandchild. Both daughters are graduates of Avon High School.
Koehler’s plans for retirement include traveling and writing more books, as well as doing some consulting work.