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Eiland to take helm of BCSS

The Butler County School System will have a new leader in 2020 and didn’t have to travel far to find a replacement for Dr. John Stycker, after the Butler County Board of Education unanimously hired Assistant Superintendent Joseph Eiland at its meeting Thursday night.

The Board met at McKenzie School and after hearing the school’s chorus sing, got straight down to business, hiring Eiland in its first action after approving the agenda.

“I would like to say that the Board has really labored over the superintendent position,” Board President Lois Robinson said. “We’re so grateful to Dr. Strycker and what he has done in the two years has been here and the forward motion that we have experienced. We like it — we really like the direction we are going, and so the Board decided it would be a good idea to continue- we wanted to continue in the in the direction we were going and so we weighed our options to see how best to do that. The Board decided that we wanted to look within to select someone to continue in the direction we’re going.”

After her statement, Board member Brandon Sellers made a motion to hire Eiland that was seconded by Michael Nimmer. The Board voted unanimously to hire Eiland and the room broke into applause.

“I want to say thank you for your confidence,” Eiland told the Board and audience. “I’m excited and I’m privileged to have this opportunity.”

Eiland vowed to do his best to continue the growth the district is experiencing and said he is ready for the challenge.

“I remember February of 2017 when I sat before you guys,” he told the Board. “I thought I was ready to be a superintendent. I was confident that I knew it all. Prior to the interview though, I studied that gentleman (Strycker) for one month. I studied him. After that interview, I raced home and I hardly spoke to my wife, Joyce. She said, ‘well how did it go?’ I told her, ‘They’re going to hire John Strycker … and they should. That man knows what he is doing and he has a heart and a love for children. He has the heart and the spirit of a leader. My prayer is going to be that one day I get a chance to work with him.”’

Eiland said he thanked God for the opportunity and he hoped he could return to Butler County to work with Strycker.

“Five months to the exact day, I had the opportunity to interview for the position of assistant superintendent,” Eiland said. “God answered my prayers. After coming here my prayer was that I would learn, to humble myself, to be a servant, and to do what I’ve always done, which is the right thing for children.”

Eiland spoke about his role as superintendent.

“First and foremost on my agenda is what is right and just and best and safe for children,” he concluded. “Adults come next. I grew to love John Stycker as a brother. What I prayed for and hoped for came true. I learned from him – much more than I ever knew. I look forward to serving you and I look forward to the great stuff that’s going to come because we are so far past where we were. We can only move forward if we stay on the path. We’ve got great leadership at the District level and we’ve got great leadership at the schools. I love each of you, I love your children, and they will be safe.”