New High School Principal

Jefferson Area Local Schools  Selects Richard Shields
To Be The New High School Principal

June 23, 2023

At the Board of Education Meeting held on June 23rd, Richard W. Shields was officially hired as the Jefferson Area Local High School's new principal. We welcome Rich to this new position and look forward to collaborating with him as he takes over the high school for the 2023-24 school year.

Richard began his educational career in the Conneaut Area City Schools, where he taught Health and Physical Education- both at the primary and high school level from 2004 through 2017. While in Conneaut he also served the district as the primary school intervention assistance team’s chairperson and as a varsity and junior varsity head coach.

In 2018, Rich became the assistant high school principal at Canfield High School, a position he held until accepting the offer to become the  high school principal in Jefferson.

Rich has had many varied experiences as an administrator including taking leadership roles in working with school teams to develop and implement trauma informed care and performing safety assessment and interventions. He has been a part of the district and building leadership teams, athletic council, local professional development team, and worked to implement PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support ) process in his building.

Rich has experience in implementing the Ohio Improvement Process and worked with others to write and implement his district’s focused district improvement plan.

 Superintendent, John Montanaro stated: It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend Richard Shields to be our next high school principal. Throughout the interview process, Rich impressed the interview committee with his desire to be a hands-on administrator who is visible in his building and at school events. He demonstrated a commitment to excellence that comes from collaboration with faculty, staff, students, parents, and the community .  He has been responsible for teacher evaluations and is well versed in the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and how it can be used to improve a school’s academic performance. Most importantly, he expressed a commitment to student success and going the extra-mile to help every student succeed.”

 Recommendations written on Rich’s behalf indicated that he connects with students and has a passion for education. Both as a teacher and administrator he has been seen as a dedicated, hard-working, and valuable member of his school and district teams.

 About his appointment as High School principal in Jefferson, Rich stated: “I look forward to joining the Jefferson administrative team and getting to meet the faculty and staff at the high school. Jefferson High School and its teachers have a great reputation that provides me the opportunity to work with a team committed to success for all students.” “I am especially excited to be able to return to Ashtabula County where I began my career and have many family members and friends who live and work in the region.” “I also look forward to meeting our students, parents and community members and working with them to make sure that the high school is safe and meets the needs of every student.”

 Rich is married to Mary Ellen Shields. He will officially begin his work at Jefferson High School in late July.