Superintendent's Message


Welcome to Wayne Local Schools!

I am excited to be back with Wayne Local Schools as the new Interim Superintendent.  It is an honor for me to be here!

On Behalf of the Board of Education, the staff, and myself, it is our mission to provide opportunities for each child of WLS to achieve the ability to be successful in any endeavor they choose after high school.  It is also our desire to have a safe and positive environment for students and staff to enjoy the aspects of learning while developing relationships that will last a lifetime.

The reputation of Wayne Township and Wayne Local Schools, and their cooperation with each other, remain committed to ensuring our school communities inspire our youth and the future of our society.  We are in this together as we provide the foundation that will sustain each child during and well beyond high school graduation.  For that, I personally am very proud!

As we strive to make a positive difference in the life of each student, I encourage each of you to be involved with your child’s school and education in every positive manner possible. That involvement will sustain the effective learning environment and the joy of school each day for our WLS students!

Thank you, and I look forward to meeting each of you as we proceed on this educational and life-long journey!

Go Spartans!

Sam Ison

Interim Superintendent

Posted:  September 3, 2021


Ohio Department of Health Pilot Quarantine Project


Wayne Local Schools want to keep our students safe and in school.  Warren County school districts have been in the news this week because of a request to try a multi-tiered modification to current quarantine protocols.  First, let me state this modified approach has not been fully approved at this point.  Wayne Local Schools, along with nine other Warren County districts, are working through many logistics and details.  Hours and hours of work is invested into this project.  Unfortunately, some news media and others have made it appear that the program is already fully enacted.  Wayne Local Schools is still clarifying and examining the many elements needed for successful implementation.

The framework of the guidelines will be created and approved by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).  Wayne Local Schools emphasizes safety for our students and staff.  Individuals who are sick will be required to stay home.  Individuals who are not sick may remain in school.  As we learn to live with COVID-19, we strive to develop better systems to determine which students are sick and contagious.  After a year of quarantines, we know the process has a negative impact on students and their families.  Quarantined students are socially isolated along with the impact on academic growth.  Currently, students exposed to coronavirus are required to be fully quarantined at home if they’re not vaccinated or wearing a mask through contact tracing. The modified plan would allow unvaccinated, non-masked students who are exposed to the virus to remain in class; however the “exposed” student must remain symptom free and be tested twice within a seven (7) day window.  The “exposed” individuals will be required to wear a mask throughout the duration of the modified quarantine.  Parents will have quarantine options under the Ohio Department of Health’s Pilot.  

Similar to our current quarantine protocols, any individual identified through contact tracing as being “exposed” immediately enters our quarantine process.  Parents of the student will be contacted and made aware of the exposure.  Separation from other non-exposed students continues to be an emphasis until full contact tracing is completed.  Elements of the contact tracing process include whether the individual is vaccinated or wearing a mask.  

Under the Pilot Quarantine Program, an individual not vaccinated and not wearing a mask, yet symptom free, will be given a pathway to remain in school.  Families and students will be instructed about the modified pilot option after an exposure.  Within the modified pilot option, there are some very specific steps that must be followed.  No family or student has to accept the pilot option.  It's a choice the family likely will want to discuss and may want to consult their family doctor.  


Likely Elements of the Pilot Program include:

  • SYMPTOM FREE EACH DAY; at any point the exposed individual displays symptoms he/she will be quarantined at home.
  • Parents shall sign a modified quarantine waiver that acknowledges the student was identified as a close contact of a student and/or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19. The student has been determined ineligible for an exemption to local quarantine procedures through vaccination or consistent masking. The student and her/his parents have been notified of the requirement to quarantine under the guidelines set forth by the Warren County Department of Health.  Wayne Local School District is participating in a pilot program that will allow the student to return to school immediately as long as the student remains compliant with specific masking, monitoring and testing obligations for the next fourteen (14) days.
  • Parents accept responsibility for performing daily temperature and symptom checks. The district will also monitor symptoms during any modified quarantine period.  Student shall stay at home if experiencing ANY of the following symptoms: fever (100˚F or higher), chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Individuals participating in the modified quarantine shall wear a mask while at school and when in close contact with others. 
  • Parents agree their child will be tested twice within a 7 day window.  The first test will occur on day 3 and the second test will occur during days 5-7.  Both tests must be negative to remain in school.  A positive test at any point places the individual in home quarantine.
  • Tests must be performed under very specific protocol.  Home tests bought and performed outside of the protocols will not be accepted for the modified quarantine process.
  • All tests for the modified quarantine must be authorized by a physician or health care provider.  We believe at this time there will be multiple ways to have a test authorized; two (2) likely scenarios include:
  1. An authorized rapid test at school that has been approved by a partnering physician or health care provider.
  2. A test taken directly by a physician or health care provider chosen by the family.
  • Currently, we believe students will be unable to participate in extracurricular activities.  The pilot quarantine is intended to keep students in school.  Outside of the school day, the health department will expect the individual to quarantine at home.


We remain committed to keeping students safe and in school.  We ask for your patience as we diligently work with our project partners to ensure the safety and academic success of our students.  We will share more information about the pilot as we receive more guidance and clarity from the Ohio Department of Health.  

Posted:  August 4th, 2021


The Wayne Local School District will delay the opening of school for the 2021-2022 school year because of ongoing construction.  Athletics will continue as previously scheduled.  

The Back to School Bash event set for Saturday, August 7, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Bicentennial Park will continue as planned. 

The following are important changes to the 2021-22 school calendar:


  • Elementary Open House is cancelled on 8/12/2021.
  • All Orientations are cancelled on 8/16/2021.
  • Junior/Senior High Open House is cancelled on 8/18/2021.


  • 8/26/2021 - 5:00 p.m.  Orientation for “new to district” Junior/Senior High students and returning VLA students will be held in the Spartan Room. 
  • 8/26/2021 – 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.  Junior/Senior High Open House – students and parents welcome.
  • 8/30/2021 – First day of school for kindergarten and preschool; extended kindergarten will attend AM session.  Parents are welcome for the first 30 minutes of AM session and PM session for photo opportunities and meeting the teacher.  Transportation will be running if needed.  Any questions regarding transportation, call (513) 897-8511. 
  • 8/30/2021 – 6:00 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting for new Elementary School; Community Open House will follow until 8:00 p.m.
  • 8/31/2021 – SCHOOL IN SESSION – All students attending (Preschool, K – 12 students).
  • 8/31/2021 – Champions Program will resume for before and after school care, as well as other learning programs. 

Additional Change to School Calendar: 

  • 11/22/2021 & 11/23/2021 – School will now be in session for in-person learning instead of remote learning. 
  • There will be NO CHANGE to the end of the school year.


Other Transportation Notes:  Transportation Questions:  (513) 897-8511

  • Warren County Career Center will provide transportation to and from Wayne Local Schools from 8/11/21 through 8/30/21.  Pickup and drop off will be at Waynesville Junior/Senior High (formerly Waynesville Middle School).  Normal bus routes will resume on 8/31/21.
  • Warren County Alternative School will provide transportation to and from Wayne Local Schools from 8/11/21 through 8/30/21.  Pickup and drop off will be at Waynesville Junior/Senior High (formerly Waynesville Middle School).  Normal bus routes will resume on 8/31/21.
  • The Learning Center – Van transportation will run as normal.
  • Wellness Center – Van transportation will run as normal.
  • TLC – Van transportation will run as normal.

Additional Note for Senior High Students:

  • If you are taking a CCP class and in need of a Chrome Book prior to start of school, please email Abby Shinkle at

Posted:  July 29, 2021


At this time, mask-wearing in Wayne Local School District will be optional for the 2021-2022 school year.

It is important to recognize that the pandemic response continues to evolve.  The wearing of facial coverings (masks) will be a personal choice (optional) for students and staff based on individual comfort level in the school setting.  Facial Coverings are recommended for those who have elevated health risks or have not been vaccinated.  Warren County has the highest level of vaccinations in southwest Ohio, and is in the top ten (10) in the state.  If state or local health orders change during a time of elevated communicable disease community spread, the superintendent may require the correct use of facial coverings.

The Wayne Local School District does not order quarantines or isolations, but instead works with Warren County Health Department officials in contact tracing and communicating cases.  We will rely on our local health department to determine quarantine requirements for staff and students whether they are vaccinated or not.  Consequently, if our district is presented with a situation in which contact tracing indicates that vaccinated and/or unvaccinated individuals are found to have been exposed, local or state health orders may require that an unvaccinated individual remain home from school during the quarantine period and allow a vaccinated person to remain in school and not quarantine in accordance with applicable health orders.

Currently, federal orders and accompanying guidance state that students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses, whether vaccinated or not, until September 13, 2021, at which time the order may end or possibly extend.

Daily Self-Monitoring:

  • Students and staff should monitor their own temperatures and their health on a daily basis before coming to school.
  • Students and staff will be encouraged to practice personal health hygiene, including covering their cough, washing their hands and staying home when sick.
  • By staying home when you are not feeling well, you will not only help protect others from COVID, but will also help stop the spread of illnesses such as the flu.

Student Illnesses:

  • Any student with a fever over 100F should stay home.
  • Any student that has the following symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school and see their primary care provider to be assessed for COVID-19:
  • Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing


  • Two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI Issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea)


  • Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI Issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea) AND an epidemiological link to a case of COVID-19
  • Students and staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19 will be asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days from the positive test or onset of symptoms.

Returning to School After Illness:

  • If a student is diagnosed as having COVID-19, they must meet the following criteria to return to school:
    • 3 days with no fever (without using fever reducing medication) AND
    • other symptoms improved AND
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared.
  • Students that only have a fever and no other symptoms and have not had any contact with an individual that has COVID-19 may return to school after they are fever free for 24 hours without using any fever reducing medications.
  • Any other illnesses should be handled in the routine manner according to district policies.
  • To return to school, the child must be transported to school by the parent and must be checked by the school nurse.


  • Daily disinfection and enhanced cleaning will continue.

Learning Spaces:

  • Classrooms and other learning spaces will once again utilize more personalized and collaborative seating arrangements. 

Food Service:

  • Students may have required seating during breakfast and lunch period to facilitate contact tracing if it is so needed.  We will tailor specific food service operations to promote safety for all.  
  • Regular school meals will continue to be provided free of charge to all students, thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Even so, if your family qualifies for free or reduced lunches, it’s extremely important to fill out the free and reduced lunch application to waive all or partial school fees


  • Visitors are welcomed in our schools.  Each school will share opportunities and protocols for their families.
  • Visitors may be required to adhere to safety protocols such as taking temperatures and completing a health questionnaire.


  • Seating charts will be used to assist with contact tracing if that is needed.
  • Currently, federal orders and accompanying guidance state that students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses, whether vaccinated or not, until September 13, 2021, at which time the order may end or possibly extend.

Athletics and Co-Curricular Activities:

  • Families and community members will once again be able to attend small and large events, including performances and athletic games.
  • The OHSAA and in conjunction with the ODH urge the membership to continue to follow safe protocols to protect everyone, especially those individuals who are not fully vaccinated.

Posted:  May 13, 2021


It’s been an incredibly challenging school year for everyone and I wanted to reach out with a heartfelt thank you to our students, parents and teachers. Additionally, I would like to share our plans for next school year.

It was little over a year ago that I was sending one of the hardest communications ever – our school district would remain closed for the rest of the 2020 school year. Since that time, we’ve learned a lot as a school community about living amidst a pandemic as well as remaining focused on student learning and growth. Working collectively for our students has been something that we can be proud of.

Looking ahead, our administrative team has been working through key details for next school year. We are excited for all students to attend classes on our campus for the 2021/22 school year. We will not offer at-home virtual learning. We look forward to refocusing our efforts to provide an excellent in-person educational experience for students supporting their social, emotional, and academic needs. It will also be an exciting new start with our campus changes and new elementary school.

High School Principal Dr. Sam Ison is retiring after 41 years in education. Our current Middle School Principal, Ms. Karyn Phillips, will transition into the role of Junior/Senior High Principal. She will become the first female principal at the high school level in Waynesville history. Ms. Phillips has been working hard on this transition and we are excited about the leadership she will provide our school community.

Ms. Phillips states: “As a resident of Waynesville for the past fourteen years, I've grown to know many of you in my various roles as parent, educator and administrator. I've been a firsthand witness to the love, support, and Spartan pride this community has for our school district. Because of that hometown pride, I'm extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity to serve our students, staff and community as the principal of the new Waynesville Junior/Senior High School. I'm looking forward to honoring the Waynesville traditions from years past and thrilled to be a part of the future success in continuing excellence in education for our children for years to come.”


At the May Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Pat Dubbs recommended two (2) new additions to our administrative team.

· Mr. Chip Will – Assistant Junior/Senior High Principal

Mr. Will earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematical Education, along with a Master’s Degree in educational leadership. He has been an integral part of Bellbook High School math department serving as co-chairperson. Mr. Will was also a Sergeant in the United States Army National Guard. Chip would like to use his educational leadership skills to help communicate effectively to students, parents and faculty alike. He wants to focus on the school’s mission and what’s best for the students.

Quote from Chip: “I currently live in Springboro with my amazing wife, Nicole and I have four kids (Carly 8, Parker 5, Austin 3 and Ellie 1). I am an avid sports fan and my favorite teams are the Buckeyes, Reds and Bengals, but my outside-of- the-area team is the Buffalo Bills. I have spent the last 14 years as a math teacher and coach in both the Beavercreek and Bellbrook school districts. I have taught at both the middle school and high school levels. I am impressed by the Waynesville schools and cannot wait to start in August with the students, staff, parents and this amazing community! I hope everyone enjoys their upcoming summer! Go Spartans!”

· Mr. Brian Byrer – Assistant Elementary Principal

Mr. Byrer earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in elementary education along with a Master’s Degree in educational administration. Mr. Byrer is currently an Administrative Intern at Hilliard City Schools. Brian is passionate about strengthening excellent teachers and helping students achieve academic and life success. Brian is skilled at leading teams, forging community partnerships, and supporting students’ academic, social, and emotional wellness.

Quote from Brian: "I am honored to accept the role of Elementary Assistant Principal with Wayne Local Schools. The opening of a new building this fall is really exciting and the Waynesville community is one that I admire and strongly believe in. I'm looking forward to working with and supporting the students, staff, and families in this great district. I hope to find some fellow Reds and Bengals fans out there too. I'm excited to meet everyone!"


Please join me in welcoming these two leaders to our district. We are confident that they are great fits in their new roles as we plan for a return to normalcy.

In closing, I am grateful for the way in which our Spartan community has responded throughout this school year. Thank you for your continued patience, trust and support as we work together to make Wayne Local Schools a great place for kids!

Karyn Phillips, Chip Will, Brian Byrer
man in a suit with a flower and red backdrop curtain

Date:  March 24, 2021


After 42 years in public education, Waynesville High School Principal, Dr. Sam Ison, has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Dr. Ison is widely known and respected in education circles as a highly successful principal, superintendent, and professor. He has served as our WHS principal since 2017. Dr. Ison emphasizes relationships, and the size of our high school has allowed him to work directly with students. One of his legacies will be the commitment to a very positive experience for our students during the Covid-19 pandemic. Retirement means Sam will miss seeing and interacting with the students and staff on a daily basis. “I have enjoyed my time with Wayne Local Schools and appreciate the support everyone has provided me during my tenure.” Previously, he was Superintendent of Schools and a District Level Administrator at Middletown City Schools (2011- 2017). Prior to Middletown, Dr. Ison was High School Principal at Lebanon High School (1996 – 2011) and Springfield Northwestern High School (1995-1996). He started his education career at Milton-Union as a Social Studies Teacher (1979-1986) and Middle School Principal (1986-1995). He will continue to be an Adjunct Professor with Xavier University’s Graduate School. “Wayne Local Schools and the Waynesville Community will always have a special place in my heart.”

Best wishes and congratulations to Sam on his well-deserved retirement. Sam’s stewardship, passion, guidance, expertise, and leadership will leave a lasting imprint on many students, staff, community, and colleagues.

Date:  August 12, 2019


Welcome to the 2019/20 school year.  Starting a new school year is always an exciting event; however, we also realize the recent events in nearby Dayton force us to focus on safety.  Wayne Local Schools and our close partners, Waynesville Police and Wayne Township Fire Department, are committed to make campus safety top priority for our students, staff, and visitors. 

We welcome Officer Shannon Mermann as our full time School Resource Officer.  He will conduct daily safety sweeps of our facilities.   Doors in all of our buildings are monitored and visitors must report to building offices to sign in and receive a visitor pass.  The board office has an instant background check system for vendors who visit the campus before having access to our property. 

This school year, the district has installed emergency classroom door devices that allow staff and students to quickly barricade a door in the event that an active intruder enters one of our buildings.  We follow A.L.I.C.E. (alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate) protocol as a response to an active intruder. 

Wayne Local Schools uses The Education Connection (TEC) to offer a safety/bully tip line.  Anyone can report anonymously a bullying/safety issue by calling the TEC tip line at (513) 855-4350, option 7 or by going online at  All reports are taken very seriously. 

All volunteers and coaches must have BCI and FBI background results on file at Wayne Local Schools.  The entire Wayne Local Schools campus submits active safety plans to the Center for P-20 Safety and Security in conjunction with Ohio Homeland Security.

Wayne Local Schools have recently purchased a digital-turbo radio system.  This system will allow better coverage for our transportation, office staff and administration to provide communication and alerts during the school day and during any extra-curricular or sporting events. 

Through the strong partnerships we have with both local and county law enforcement and emergency services, we can and will look into any tip of suspicious activity.  Our ultimate goal is to assure that every school building and the entire campus is a safe place for all students from preschool through 12th grade. 

Date:  August 2, 2019

News Release from Superintendent Pat Dubbs:

Wayne Local Schools announces today a series of administrative moves reconfiguring our leadership team.  After 18 years in Wayne Local School District, Tammy Burchfield has made the professional decision to take a principal position with Franklin City Schools.  As Elementary Principal for the past four years, Tammy did an outstanding job leading the elementary to a National Blue Ribbon School award and achieving top ranking recognition by the Ohio Department of Education.  Tammy states “It has been my pleasure to serve as Building Principal.  Best of luck for a phenomenal school year.”

From the time of Tammy’s decision, my goal has been to continue our excellence using internal talent.  Tracey Poole will leave the middle school to take the Principal’s chair in the elementary.  Tracey has successfully led the middle school to its own top ranking designation.  Her experience running a building will translate well to our elementary school.   Tracey commented “Working with the students, families, and staff at Waynesville Middle School has been an incredible experience!  I am excited to begin a new venture as the Elementary School Principal and look forward to building new relationships that create and foster a strong learning environment.”

At the next board meeting, I will be recommending Anna Garafolo to the Board of Education to become Assistant Principal at the elementary.  Anna learned a great deal professionally working alongside Tammy and as a Testing Coordinator for the district.  She will be a valuable asset to Tracey and the entire elementary staff.  This move also prepares the district as we transition to our new elementary building in a couple of years.  Anna expressed “I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the students, staff, families and community of Wayne Local Schools in this new position. I believe it is my role to be mindful and aware of the needs of all stakeholders. I am committed to instilling in them, a hope for success, a belief in themselves, and empowering them to accomplish their goals and aspirations. The positive partnerships we build between our families, our schools, community groups and organizations will in turn strengthen and support our young learners so that they are able to be our next leaders of the future."

Karyn Phillips will move from Special Education Supervisor to lead the middle school as Principal.  Karyn has previous experience in student services with the high school and middle school.  Karyn’s knowledge base will complement the middle school.  Karyn added “I’m very excited and honored as this new adventure begins.  We have such great students, parents, and staff in Waynesville and I look forward to a spectacular school year.”

The district will use the Warren County Educational Service Center for special education services.  Marcia Booher will work part time in the district; Marcia had provided special education services previously at Wayne Local Schools.  Marcia is familiar and comfortable with the way Waynesville operates our student services.

Dr. Sam Ison begins his third year as High School Principal.  Sam continues to find ways to build relationships with our high school, students and their parents.  Sam and the high school staff work hard to offer new opportunities for our young adults.  Sam states “I am honored and proud to be the Waynesville High School Principal and look forward to another great year.  The 2019-20 school year is prepared to increase more student and staff involvement with building a positive climate for the high school and a deeper understanding of the 3 “R’s”- Relationship, Relevance and Rigor! We are excited to welcome new students, the incoming freshmen class and new staff members as we begin a wonderful and productive school year!”

As I begin my 12th year as Superintendent, I am excited for the 2019-20 school year knowing we have proven leadership with skills, vision, and the ability to bring people together.  We will continue to be a school district led by a purpose – to make a positive, meaningful impact on the students and families in our school community. 


The Ohio Department of Education released the 2017/2018 School Report Card this week and Wayne Local Schools received an overall grade of "A."  Waynesville was one of 28 districts statewide to earn an overall grade of "A" and we ranked very high among all Ohio districts in performance index.  An "A" reflects our hard work and attention to the increased rigor of Ohio's learning standards.  We are focused on helping our students succeed in an educational environment of raised expectations.  We celebrate the successes of our students and staff.  We also say thank you to our community for its ongoing support of our school system.  

We know we can do even better; we will review our grade card results very closely and start a "plan-do-check-act" cycle of continuous improvement.  We also acknowledge that the state report card is not the only way to determine success.  In addition to continuous improvement, we believe closely monitoring the following metrics are important to sustainable high performance:

  • Providing a well-rounded education that includes a wide range of opportunities for our students;
  • Offering a diverse range of student services that ensure our students receive individualized instruction, enrichment, and support;
  • Student leadership opportunities;
  • Hiring and retaining high-quality staff members;
  • Parent and community involvement;
  • Using and advancing digital learning;
  • Practicing fiscal stewardship

All of these pieces combined with our new facilities project makes Waynesville a special school district.


Welcome to the 2018/19 school year!  I hope that everyone enjoyed a relaxing summer break in the company of friends and family.  Starting the school year is always an exciting event whether you are a student or staff member.  The quality of our teachers and support staff is a key ingredient to our students’ success. We are blessed to have an impressive group of educators who are passionate about our students.  They possess a high capacity for connectedness and recognize that student achievement and preparedness for the future is our highest priority. 

Wayne Local Schools earned several recognitions for academic achievement last school year and early released data for this school year indicates we will once again be recognized as a top performing district. 

Our parents and community play a vital role by supporting and partnering with our school system.  Partnerships result in sharing and maximizing resources for the greater good.  We encourage our parents to be actively involved in their child’s education.  Parental involvement enhances student adaptation to school.  Students will attend school more regularly and experience less occurrences of discipline.  These students have higher self-esteem and well-developed social skills.  They complete homework and earn higher grades and test scores and ultimately increase future career success.

School safety is emphasized at Waynesville schools.  Last school year, we added a district SRO (Security Resource Officer) and we actively listened to our students and their concerns.  Many of our procedures reflect dialogue with our students. 

We continue to expand student offerings.  Exposure to “STEM” is available through the Gateway/Project Lead the Way programs.  This year we joined a partnership with the University of Cincinnati, Sinclair Community College, and Warren County Career Center to offer a satellite Information Technology Program for grades 8 through 12.  Additionally, a new Family and Consumer Science class will help our students develop life skills.  We are excited with a new cooperative program between our physical education classes and the Lebanon YMCA; classes will go to the YMCA to take advantage of their facilities.  We are offering new advanced placement classes in Government, World History and Psychology.  Juniors and Seniors will be offered opportunities to do “community options” in order to job shadow, intern and volunteer during the last two periods of the day.

Our athletic programs and marching band have been practicing the entire month of August.  The annual Back to School Bash in the park was a successful kickoff for an exciting school year. 

We look forward to seeing many of you at future district events and around our community.  Spartan Pride is everywhere and I wish you a positive and healthy 2018/19 school year. 

image of a man and some elementary aged children


As the school year ends, I want to update the community on our facilities planning process. Wayne Local Schools has partnered with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) and the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC), an “arm” of OFCC that co-funds and manages PK-12 public school construction. During the engagement with OSFC; facilities assessments and future enrollment projections have been developed and used to develop a master facilities plan. We selected a “Pre-Bond” Architect, L.W.C. Inc. of Dayton, Ohio. We engaged the community with forums, surveys and focus group meetings. We worked with OSFC and LWC to analyze facility plan options, costs, and most importantly how to receive as much state assistance as possible. Over the years, the district leadership has worked hard to achieve a high credit rating; currently Moody’s Investors Service has given Wayne Local School’s a rating of Aa. That is an excellent rating for a small community and school district; it indicates strong financial management, a strong economy and tax base. The Board of Education has reviewed all information gathered and approved a motion to provide OSFC a “segmented” facility plan; in this plan a new elementary complex is our first priority. The submitted plan of a preschool through 6th grade program in a new building provided the best long-term state funding scenario. After reviewing our plan, OSFC offered Wayne Local Schools a Notice of Conditional Approval (NOCA) before the May Board of Education meeting. The Board of Education took my recommendation and approved a resolution of conditional approval; indicating we want to be on the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission’s July agenda for state funding approval. So everything is in the state’s hands; we have worked diligently to meet all deadlines to position Wayne Local for this opportunity. Approval in July means Wayne Local School will immediately begin to develop ballot language for the November 2017 General Election. This is a limited opportunity for our community; the amount of state funding will definitely decrease and is likely to completely disappear in the future. Twenty one cents on the dollar (21%) of a new elementary complex is significant support to enhance learning, replace undersized learning spaces, address aging infrastructure, congestion and traffic flow. I will let the community know the outcome of the July OFCC meeting. We now wait… Enjoy your summer break!!

Announcing the hire of Dr. Samuel R. Ison     5/11/2017

In April, The Wayne Local Board of Education accepted the resignation of Principal Randy Gebhardt who has accepted a position with West Clermont Local School District.  Dr. Samuel R. Ison was hired to replace Mr. Gebhardt as Principal on Monday, May 8th at the WLS Board of Education meeting. 

Dr. Ison brings a wealth of knowledge and vast experience to Wayne Local Schools.  Sam is currently the Superintendent of Middletown City Schools.  He has been with Middletown since 2011.  Prior to Middletown, Dr. Ison was High School Principal at Lebanon High School (1996 – 2011) and Springfield Northwestern High School (1995-1996).  He started his education career at Milton Union as a Social Studies Teacher (1979-1986) and Middle School Principal (1986-1995). 

Sam is well known in education circles for his ability to generate a positive school culture.  The Waynesville job is especially attractive to Sam; the size and success of our school district provides him the opportunity to return to a position that works directly with students and teachers on a daily basis.

Dr. Ison has also been an Adjunct Professor with Xavier University’s Graduate School. 

There will be a “Meet and Greet” on Tuesday, May 16th from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the High School Spartan Room for anyone interested in meeting Dr. Ison. 

Welcome to Waynesville Sam!

                                                            Pat Dubbs

                                                            Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent's Message on 4/11/2017

Join the Conversation (Part II)


Since the selection of LWC, Inc. at the December 12, 2016 board meeting we have collaboratively worked to develop a process to shape and maximize our facility planning at Wayne Local Schools.


Who is LWC Incorporated?  LWC provides comprehensive architectural interior design and planning services.  The firm is head quartered at 434 East First Street, Dayton, Ohio (across from Fifth-Third Field).  The firm is Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certified.  The firm’s record of excellent design solutions has been achieved in the following markets:

  • Primary and Secondary Education
  • Higher Education
  • Arts, Culture and Community
  • Healthcare
  • Historic Renovation


LWC’s proximity to the Waynesville community allows their team to provide responsive client service to all our project related matters.  From the very beginning LWC has shown sensitivity to the additional scrutiny of projects that are funded by public dollars.  Taxpayers want every assurance that their dollars are spent in a prudent and responsible manner.  The LWC team is working with the Board and Administration of the district to meet that expectation.


Our community forums were designed to help us determine a course of action to address our aging school buildings that are not up to current standards when it comes to student learning and accessibility compliance.  We want to spend taxpayer dollars wisely as we determine whether to repair, renovate, or rebuild our individual buildings.


Forum participants were presented numerous aspects of facility planning; we asked how important each aspect was to them.  Using a 10 point scale, 10 being “extremely important” and 1 being “not important at all;” respondents identified four (4) critical expectations related to facility planning.


  1. Safety/Accessibility:  Our buildings need to keep safety at the forefront and provide American Disability Act Compliance for all students, staff and guests.  The average score was “9.3” and 71% of respondents ranked it as a “10.”
  2. Longevity:  The master facilities plan needs to last for multiple generations.  The average score was “9.2” and 73% of respondents ranked it as a “10”
  3. Value:  The Board of Education should select a master facilities plan that provides the greatest value for tax payers.  The average score was “9.1” and 67% of respondents ranked it as a “10.”
  4. Educational Purpose:  Providing a modern learning environment is essential for our students.  The average score was “9.1” and 57% of respondents ranked it as a “10.”


These four (4) aspects become foundational in the work the Board, Administration and LWC produce moving forward.


Future updates to follow on our progress as decisions are made.


Yours in Education,

Pat Dubbs, Superintendent of Schools


Superintendent’s Message 8/24/2016


At Waynesville we’re SMALL enough to really know our students.  That gives them BIG opportunities.

 The 2016/17 school year is off and running; this week students and staff returned with smiles and a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm.  Whether you are a student, staff member, parent, or community member, you are an important part of the Spartan Community; we welcome, value, and appreciate your involvement and input. For our returning students and staff this is not just the beginning of a new school year it is a continuation; building upon the foundation and successes of previous years.  To our new families and staff, welcome to Waynesville; we are a public school system with a committed vision to provide the highest quality education, in a diverse student population, with compassion and excellence in all we do.    

 Over the summer months our maintenance staff, custodians, tech department, transportation and administration assistants worked diligently to prepare our buildings and offices for efficiency and effectiveness; we are ready for student action!  We are honored to serve our families, students, and community.  It is my sincere hope that everyone has a wonderful school year.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the Superintendent’s Office (513 897-6971) or email


                                                                        Pat Dubbs

                                                                        Superintendent of Schools




Our school district is committed to the safety and education of all our students.  As we reflect on last week I want to communicate with parents and the community about safety issues when they arise.


All threats to our schools or staff are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.  When we receive a threat we immediately determine the level; our protocol establishes multiple levels.  So our response is based upon the assessed level; not the emotional response.  We have reviewed our protocol with experts in school safety and we are confident in this protocol.  After threat assessment our first priorities are insuring the safety of all students and staff; then assisting law enforcement with investigative efforts.  We do not release all details to the public about the threat because it has become an “ongoing investigation.”  All legal entities we work with agree; students, staff, parents and community members are not privy to all aspects of a threat.  A release of detailed information often impedes the investigation; in our case limiting information helped to speed up the investigation and find the source of the threat.


As soon as possible the school district will notify parents and community with current, accurate information as to what is happening.  This is balanced with law enforcement and district personnel searching the buildings to assure the campus is safe.  When we determine modes of communication; we already know in advance that text, email, social media, and the District’s website are the fastest methods to communicate.  As Superintendent I made the decision to not use the phone call option because it takes over an hour to complete just one message.  Multiple phone messages actually bog down the system.  Text and email messages are immediate and allow us to send out multiple messages in a short duration.  During an evolving situation like threats or worse; we are more agile in our ability to communicate.  We’ve recommended the email and text options at the beginning of every school year and frequently in Good News Friday.  I received questions about why the text message directed the reader to our District website.  The text option allows a limited number of characters so rather than edit the message; we felt it was best to direct receivers to the District’s website for complete details.  Everything we communicate also goes out on Facebook; we highly recommend that you follow the District’s Facebook page and the Superintendent’s Facebook page.  My Facebook page is set up so anyone can read my messages.


Quick communication with parents and community is a goal; but it cannot come at the expense of our first priority in those first moments after a threat is made, to protect the children and staff under our care.

Tips to Make School Day Mornings Easier

Welcome back to Wayne Local Schools for the 2015-16 school year. Each new year is a time of excitement but it can also be very hectic.  Working parents may find school day mornings especially difficult, as their own work schedules can make mornings feel even more rushed. By employing several strategies to free up time in the morning; everyone can start their days off in a more relaxing atmosphere:

Wake up earlier, sleep might seem like a precious commodity, but waking up just 10 to 15 minutes earlier can remove some of the stress from work day mornings without costing you a lot of sleep time. Let kids sleep in until their normal wake up time, using your extra 10 or 15 minutes to shower or enjoy your morning cup of coffee before the house is abuzz with activity.

Tackle certain chores the night before. Delaying certain chores until you wake up makes for a hectic morning, so complete as many chores as possible before you go to bed for the night. Pre-pay or prepare school lunches in advance. Lay out clothes for yourself and your children, and make sure kids have their backpacks packed and ready to go before they go to bed. Each of these things may only take a few minutes, but when left for the morning, they can add up to a substantial amount of time.

Encourage youngsters to pick up the pace. Keep the television off. If watching the television is ingrained in your morning routine, try going a few days without it to see if this makes it easier to get out the door on time. Kids might grow distracted by morning shows or movies; even adults get caught up in morning news and weather forecasts.

Extracurricular activities can be important to a child’s development, serving as an avenue to meet new people and an opportunity to learn the importance of teamwork. Parents know that school comes before extracurricular activities, but kids may not be so wise. Keep in mind kids’ existing workloads when helping them find the right after school activities. Kids who over commit to extracurricular activities may end up feeling tired and burnt out; which can have a negative impact on their school work and attitude toward school. Waiting to complete school assignments till the morning because of after school activities can increase morning stress. Encourage kids to find activities they care about but emphasize that these activities should not become bigger priorities than school work.

GNF – Good News Friday
Good News Friday is an electronic newsletter that is sent every Friday during the school year. If you are interested in subscribing to GNF, please visit our website and subscribe.

One Call Now
One Call Now is Wayne Local School’s Emergency Notification System.

You can receive phone calls, text alerts or emails regarding School Closings, Delays, or other Special Events/Circumstances. Text messaging and emails will be received faster than phone calls; so we always encourage subscribers to sign up for text and/or email.

To register for One Call Now please send your information to Jim Lucas at or call him at 513-897-2776  x3007.  Mrs. Miller can also address any questions or problem you encounter.  Please provide your name, phone number and/or email. State your preference phone call/text message or email notification.

Pay For It
Student fees can be paid online by signing up for Pay For It. If you are interested in paying fees online visit our website and enroll.

Student Insurance
Student Insurance can be purchased from Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Co./N. Carol Insurance Agency, Inc. If you are interested in student insurance visit the Wayne Local School website under “District” and go to “Student Insurance.”

Spartan Pride Community Wide,
Pat Dubbs
Superintendent of Schools​​