Patrick C. Hickey
Photo by Amy E. Voigt
(The Toledo Blade)
Patrick C. Hickey - Superintendent
The Washington Local Board of Education named Patrick C. Hickey as the school district's superintendent at a special meeting on July 5, 2007.
Superintendent Hickey was already a familiar face in Washington Local, having served as assistant superintendent since August, 2002. He began teaching in 1986 as an English teacher in Addison, Michigan. In 1991, he was hired as an educational coordinator by St. Anthony Villa in Toledo. Over a span of five years, Superintendent Hickey advanced rapidly, serving as teacher, principal and division manager. He was also appointed by the Boysville of Michigan Board of Directors to serve as their acting executive director for the state of Ohio. In August, 1996, he became the assistant principal at Findlay High School, a position he held until joining Washington Local.
A Toledo native and St. John's Jesuit graduate, Superintendent Hickey received his bachelor of arts degree in English from Siena Heights University in 1986. He completed his graduate work at the University of Toledo, earning a master's degree in educational administration in 1994 and an education specialist degree in 1997. He holds Ohio Department of Education licensure in English as well as for the positions of secondary principal and superintendent.
Superintendent Hickey's leadership philosophy encompasses site-based management, collaboration and empowering others. With his guidance and commitment to accomplishing his "76 goals in 1,000 days," many changes have taken place at Washington Local Schools that are positively impacting the Washington Local family.
Superintendent Hickey encouraged input from staff members to help identify standards that would guide all decisions made in the district. Through a collaborative effort, twelve core values were adopted by the board of education—courage, dedication, dignity, excellence, gratitude, honesty, loyalty, respect, responsibility, service, teamwork, and trust. Four non-negotiables were also defined—high quality instruction; data-driven decision making; collaboration of all departments; and using technology as a learning accelerator.
Under Superintendent Hickey's guidance, Washington Local Schools moved from a "Continuous Improvement" status to achieving an "Excellent" rating three years in a row and having two buildings achieve an "Excellent with Distinction" rating. Other academic highlights for the district include:
achieving its highest Performance Index ever;
achieving the most indicators ever;
meeting value-added three times;
having the most schools ever rated as "Excellent;"
students scoring higher than the state average and higher than comparable districts on 25 of 28 achievement tests; and
having the highest percentage ever of sophomores passing all five parts of the OGT (80%).
A 2010 study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute examined the impact on test scores in districts that experience high growth in poverty. In Washington Local, the students who are economically disadvantaged rose by 225.56% from 2003 to 2012, going from 17.1% to 55.7%. During that same period, the district's Performance Index Score rose 10.74%. In the last three years, four Washington Local schools have been recognized as Schools of Promise for their success in serving children in poverty and racial and ethnic subgroups.
The district is currently a leader in the state in its implementation of the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP). The OIP establishes true learning communities and decision-making teams at each building and the district as a whole. These building leadership teams, data teams, and district leadership team embrace site-based management with common goals.
Superintendent Hickey believes in entrusting projects to students for real-world experiences. Students in the Career and Technology Center's Digital Graphic Design class have designed the district logo and tagline, Whitmer High School's Panther Head logo, and banners celebrating the excellence of the Washington Local Schools. Whitmer High School students also design a logo for the district's bi-annual Kids in Action event.
Superintendent Hickey has instituted a wellness initiative for students and staff. Whitmer High School received the 2009 National Blue Apple Award for Health Education with Distinction, an award presented to only two schools in the nation. A district Wellness Committee has been formed to promote wellness in buildings by offering health screenings, weight loss opportunities, and exercise plans.
Superintendent Hickey's leadership through a successful levy campaign in 2011 was the fourth consecutive new money levy passed by the Washington Local Community. The 2011 operating levy will assist the district's budget deficit--a deficit due to declining revenue, unconstitutional funding of schools, and reduced property tax revenue. In 2008, Hickey led not only a successful levy campaign, but acquiring the most "yes" votes ever at Washington Local.
With the 2008 levy passage, improvements to buildings and facilities have been made possible. Improvements include a building addition, installing elevators at the two junior highs, and adding security systems at each building. The high school auditorium was renovated to create a state-of-the-art venue for performing arts. With the help of private funding, Phase I of the athletic renovation was completed with an artificial playing surface, new bleachers, and a new Jumbotron scoreboard at the football stadium; an expanded field house lobby; new auxiliary gym; and a fitness center and weight room. Phase I included over a half million dollars in private donations. A levy promise and subsequent passage insured that Phase II of the stadium renovations was completed in the fall of 2010 and consisted of new locker rooms, lighting, restrooms, concession stand, ticket booths, student entrance, booster hut, and concrete renovation. In the last decade, Washington Local has invested $35.7 million in its facilities, thus protecting the taxpayers' investment. Well over 92% of all facility improvement projects are academic in nature. The building projects have also assisted labor in northwest Ohio through this work that benefits kids and families.
In April of 2012, Superintendent Hickey made a courageous recommendation to the Board of Education to replace the steamlines and HVAC system at Whitmer High School. Replacing the deteriorating steamlines now protects the investment in the WLS buildings. The infrastructure of the building is at risk without this project. This $11 million project will insure that future generations ofstudents will be educated at Whitmer High School.
The business and educational partnerships cultivated by Superintendent Hickey assist students and staff of the Washington Local Schools. Mr. Hickey has secured the UT Guarantee Scholarship, the UT Scholarly Savings Account, the Owens Success Scholarship and Eastern Michigan University's Education First Partnership for students. These programs virtually assure college education for any student in Washington Local who desires it regardless of their socio-economic status. Whitmer High School is the number one feeder school in the nation to UT and Owens and many of our students are first generation students. Superintendent Hickey has acquired five-year advertising commitments for the football stadium scoreboard from four major organizations: Lourdes College, Paramount, Savage & Associates and The University of Toledo. Through the partnership with Paramount Health Care, the organization has committed $20,000 annually to enable Whitmer High School's sophomores to experience Challenge Day. Washington Local also partners with Paramount on one of the most successful workplace and school-based health and wellness programs in the state. Mr. Hickey emphasizes that healthy and well employees and students make for better workers, citizens, friends and family members.
Superintendent Hickey lives up to the Washington Local motto "our kids mean the world to us." He is an enthusiastic participant in student programs, often acting as emcee for events. He hosts an Opening Day presentation each year that inspires and challenges the workforce to prioritize kids in all that we do. Each spring, he gives a "State of the District" financial speech to all employees. Where Superintendent Hickey is, you will find kids. In 2009, Meadowvale Elementary renamed their renovated courtyard the Patrick C. Hickey Courtyard. In his five years as superintendent, Superintendent Hickey has earned the respect and trust of students, staff, and community members.