Independence Local Schools Superintendent Ben Hegedish announced his resignation at tonight’s school board meeting, sharing plans to depart the district and accept a leadership role in the private business sector.

Hegedish will step down on April 1 after leading Independence Local Schools for the past nine years as superintendent and three years as the principal of Independence Middle School.

"We wish Ben well. This is a tremendous opportunity for him and we, as a board, support him in his decision.  He has made a significant impact in our district," said Anthony Avila, Board of Education President, expressing gratitude for Hegedish's service.

The board moved swiftly, voting to appoint current assistant superintendent Tom Dreiling as interim superintendent, effective April 1. Dreiling brings continuity and familiarity with district operations to the temporary role as the board launches a search process for Hegedish's permanent replacement.  Day-to-day operations will continue smoothly with this seamless transition, as Dreiling and the administrative team continue leading the district with the same vision of providing an outstanding educational experience for all students.

The board will now look to find the next long-term leader to carry on the district's forward momentum beginning in the 2024-25 school year. The board has contracted with Finding Leaders, the same firm supporting its ongoing treasurer search, to recruit superintendent candidates. Details on the search timeline and application process will be shared publicly as plans are finalized.

“We appreciate the community’s support and patience during this period of transition,” said Avila.  “We are eager to identify the next superb leader for Independence Local Schools.”

There will be opportunities for our community to be a part of the superintendent search process.  More details will be shared in the near future.

“I offer my heartfelt gratitude to our school community,” said Hegedish. “You entrusted me with one of the greatest responsibilities that an individual can have…the education of our community’s children. The Independence school community has made a significant impact on my life, and together, I believe, we have positively impacted a generation of Independence Local Schools children. Thank you for the honor it has been to serve our school district and our community.”