West Branch administrator reassigned as principal

BELOIT- A West Branch administrator is being reassigned as the Damascus Elementary principal.

Matthew Manley, current staff development coordinator, will take over as Damascus principal in August, replacing Matt Bowen who was recently named superintendent of the Campbell School District. The 30-year educator and coach served as principal of the junior high and the original Damascus Elementary from 2001 through 2004 and the middle school from 2004 through 2012 until he was named staff development coordinator this past year.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart Monday announced the move to staff, students and parents.

“We are delighted to have Mr. Manley return to Damascus as the elementary principal,” Weingart said in a prepared statement. “He knows the staff. He knows the community. Mr. Manley is an experienced, committed leader. He has a passion for teaching and learning and is committed to using data to make informed, targeted decisions about what is best for students…

“The work that he did this year for us was critical to enable us to implement the sweeping state mandates that our district is facing, but it will be good to have Mr. Manley back in a building. That’s where his heart is.”

Manley said that he feels blessed to have been a part of West Branch Middle School for so many years and that it has been “an honor to work with a terrific group of teachers at the school.” He said he is looking forward to the opportunity to share his passion for working with children with Damascus teachers and staff, and is excited to return as part of the Damascus family.

Over his career, Manley has held positions in school districts in Ashtabula, Mahoning and Trumbull counties. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Youngstown State University and has a background in special education and history as well as experience in elementary, middle and high school education. He received the Franklin Walter Award as the top special educator in Ohio during his teaching career and has authored or co-authored several grants that have secured over $250,000 dollars for student projects. Manley coached for 14 years on the varsity level where he was named Ashtabula County Coach of the year and twice named Trumbull County Assistant Coach of the year, and was one of the coaches of the Liberty School District’s basketball team that won 61 consecutive games.

Weingart said that since the move is a reassignment, it does not have to be approved by the school board.

Kevin Howell can be reached at khowell@salemnews.net