DR. GENE T. HARRIS
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools | 2001- Present
Welcome to the Columbus City Schools. It is my honor and privilege to serve the Columbus students, parents and community. Over 50,000 students call Columbus City Schools home, and we take our responsibility to provide them with the highest quality educational experience very seriously.
On the 2010–2011 State Report Card, CCS earned a Continuous Improvement rating. Our Performance Index was 81.8, up from 80.3 in 2009-2010, and we met the Value-Added Measure score.
Based the 2011 State Report Card the District posted gains in many areas including some of our highest accomplishments to date: graduation rate (77.6 percent), attendance rate (94.5 percent), and Performance Index Score (81.8).
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Dr. Harris Named 2012 Superintendent of the Year
Dr. Harris Named 2012 Superintendent of the Year
The Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) has named Columbus City Schools Superintendent, Gene T. Harris, Ph.D., the 2012 Ohio Superintendent of the Year.
According to BASA Executive Director, Kirk Hamilton, Ph.D., Harris was selected by an esteemed panel of former Ohio Superintendent of the Year awardees. The panel evaluated each nominee based on the candidate’s body of work and experience, but specifically in the areas of: 1) Leadership for Learning, 2) Communication, 3) Professionalism, and 4) Community Involvement. Harris was nominated by Educational Service Center of Central Ohio Superintendent, Bart Anderson.
Anderson said, “Throughout my experiences in Central Ohio, Gene Harris is amongst the most child-centered educators I've encountered. She is more than an outstanding superintendent; she's a terrific community member, a wonderfully talented educator, and someone I was proud to nominate for this award. She's a wonderful human being.”
Hamilton stated, “Gene is long-deserving of this award. During her superintendency in Columbus City Schools student achievement has increased dramatically, while at the same time, she has successfully led the district through many challenges. Her leadership and commitment not only to the students of Columbus, but to the Columbus community is truly inspiring. Columbus is indeed very fortunate to have her leading the district.”
“This is one of the most special moments of my life,” said Harris. “Knowing the caliber of those who have preceded me in being named with this honor, and to be recognized from a field of so many other superintendents deserving of this recognition is incredibly humbling. There is no doubt that this honor reflects the consistent and focused work of our staff, parents, and community; and the ever-present support and encouragement of my family, friends, and colleagues.”
As Ohio’s 2012 Superintendent of the Year, Harris’ nomination will be forwarded for consideration as the American Association of School Administrators’ (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year. The winner of which will be named at the Association’s Annual Conference, in February.
Dr. Gene T. Harris is a Columbus native with deep roots within the local community and has been recognized by regional organizations such as the United Way of Central Ohio for her contributions to public service. She is a member of the Columbus Rotary, and serves on the Boards of Trustees of Ohio University and Action for Children. She is also a Trustee and Sunday school teacher at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church.
Since her appointment in 2001 as Superintendent, Columbus City Schools has undertaken ambitious capital improvements, investing more than $521 million in new facilities with work completed on time and within budget. In 2008, voters approved a combined 7.85 mill levy and 1.13 mill bond issue. From this bond issue, $123 million is being used to replace or renovate 10 more schools and $41 million to purchase new buses, textbooks and computers – while making $76 million in reductions to remain fiscally responsible. Other initiatives target increased parents and community engagement, and higher standards of customer service.
In the 2010-2011 school year, Harris implemented several new school options; the opening of two gender-based middle schools, a new international high school, a new K-8 international studies program, and a district-wide STEM program. U.S. News and World Report ranked twelve of the district’s high schools among the nation’s best in their 2010 “America’s Best High Schools” report; one high school received the “silver” award designation and eleven others received a “bronze” designation.
Under Harris’ tenure, Columbus City Schools has entered into innovative partnerships with institutions of higher education. These partnerships have resulted in the Seniors to Sophomores program, the Africentric Early College at Columbus State Community College, the DeVry Advantage Academy, the Columbus Teaching Academy on the Ohio State University campus, and the Schoenbaum Family Center located on the Weinland Park campus. The district also partners with I Know I Can, a college access program in Columbus.
Additional Columbus City Schools academic initiatives include a no cost Summer Institute to help students pass the Ohio Graduation Test; a K-12 summer program available to all students; a Virtual High School Program which enables students to earn credits online; and a Credit Recovery Program that allows students to retake classes and continue to earn credits toward graduation.
Dr. Harris is Ohio’s longest serving urban school superintendent and maintains a solid relationship with peers across the state, but particularly in central Ohio where she has been repeatedly selected to serve as the head of the Educational Council. Gene Harris is worthy of this award for her service and deserving through her dedication; ultimately, when you think of a school superintendent, Gene Harris is personifies the passion, dedication and skills necessary for the position.
Dr. Harris' Bio
Dr. Harris Announces Her Retirement Effective July 1, 2013
Dr. Harris' Bio - Printable version
Superintendent's Honors and Recognition Program
Celebrating our Community Champions, 200 Columbus - The Bicentennial
Amid challenges, Superintendent Gene Harris perseveres as she leads Ohio's largest district toward higher standards - Columbus Dispatch (Jan. 2, 2012) - This newspaper article highlights Dr. Harris' ten years as Superintendent of Columbus City Schools.