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After six years of working as superintendent for both the Hocking and Perry County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, David Couch will be leaving Hocking County to work solely with the Perry County board beginning Jan. 1, 2018.
"I brought up the issue myself in March during the joint meeting of the two boards," Couch explained. ''They each had an organization go through the privatization process - Hocking Valley Industries for
Hocking - and I knew that each board would be looking into some changes in the near future. The Hocking County Board decided that they wanted to have their own superintendent, and I support that decision."
Couch had left the board briefly for health reasons in April, and learned of the decision when he returned in May. According to the superintendent, the recent and upcoming changes in the field of developmental disabilities made the issue of the superintendent position something he wanted the boards to discuss and address.
''They assured me that it wasn't performance-related; that hadn't been a problem in the past, so I wasn't concerned about it," Couch said. "But they decided that they wanted someone who would be able to be more available to the public, more visible, with the chance to become a familiar face."
The individual chosen for the job is Jill Squires, who has been with the Hocking County Board of Developmental Disabilities since 2003. She currently serves as the director for the ear1y childhood program.
Squires has a Bachelor of Science in hearing, speech, and language sciences, and a Master's degree in special education. She also completed the necessary certification to become a board superintendent under the sponsorship of David Couch just over two years ago.
"Since my junior year of college, I have been interested in working with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families," Squires shared. "That is the year I started doing practicums, or internships. I found myself gravitating to this field."
"Jill is very bright and has a good perspective of the DD field in a broad sense, but she also has a great perspective of how that works here in Hocking County," Couch stated. "I'm very confident she will do well."
"I am looking forward to learning more about how the entire DD system works not only in the state of Ohio, but here in Hocking County and the region," Squires admitted. "There is a lot to learn about being a superintendent of a DD board in Ohio, but I am looking forward to the challenge and doing the best I can for the communities within Hocking County."
Although the announcement concerning the change in positions was made this month, the superintendents won't take their respective roles until January, and will spend the next few months in a transitional period for both themselves and the rest of staff. The goal with taking the extra time is to ensure a smoother process, and a more complete changeover when the time comes.
"We've had to do a few transitions in the last few months, and we've found that not having a plan and taking our time works best," Couch shared. "I've also told Jill not to be in a hurry to find all the answers right away, and to trust the great people around her."
Leaving the Hocking County Board of DD is a mix of emotions for Couch, as he shared that he will miss the Hocking County community and the individuals and family the board serves, but he is also looking forward to building stronger relationships in Perry County.
"I'm going to like driving to the same place every day, being able to follow up on long-term projects more quickly, and stay on task a bit easier," Couch remarked. "I've met really good people in my time with Hocking County, and I've really enjoyed my time there. It's been a great experience, and I thank the board for the opportunity to work with them, and for moving forward with change."
This article has been reproduced for educational purposes only and appeared in the Logan Daily News. The original story can be found at: https://www.logandaily.com/news/hocking-county-board-of-dd-announces-new-superintendent/article_8868cfd5-58c1-5655-84dc-20870aeb4f01.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share
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