Derringer hired as ESC Superintendent


EATON – The Preble County Educational Service Center has a new leader. During a Wednesday, May 29, special meeting of the PCESC Governing Board, Mike Derringer was hired to replace former Superintendent Shawn Hoff.

Derringer is currently the principal at the Preble County Success Academy. Hoff has accepted a position at Butler Tech, as the Project Life Replication Coordinator. Hoff plans to replicate the Project Life program across the United States to help individuals with disabilities.

ESC Governing Board President Kevin Johnston recognized Hoff at the meeting and praised both him and Derringer.

“We hope you will rely on his counsel and lean on him as Shawn steps away with high emotions. Not something Shawn wanted to do, but a direction he must take. He put held them off, held them off and got this ship back upright to put some money in the bank and put some great feelings between us and the locals and those superintendents that we needed to keep as our customers as we are a customer-based service center, and kept got a lot of good people on board. And you brought this wonderful gentleman to us, and he’s been with us two years and he’s shined,” Johnston said. “You did a wonderful interview, and your paperwork was good, and we couldn’t be more happy to have had him step up and take the reins,” he added of Derringer.

“He will be the 11th superintendent of the ESC, so we’ve not had many, but they’ve been very big and powerful and wise men, too.”

“That’s not lost on me,” Derringer said of those who had come before him. “Certainly, there’s giants on that wall over there.”

“It really is an honor,” Derringer said following the meeting. I’ve preached being a servant leader my whole life and now I really get an opportunity to be at the Educational Service Center to truly put that into practice. There’s a lot of kids out there that need leaders, school districts that need leaders, and it’s something that I can’t wait to undertake and give it my best shot. I don’t back down from challenges and I’m looking forward to this big one. But I’m up for the task.”

Derringer spent 13 years in the career technology field through agricultural education and taught at Talawanda in Oxford. After receiving his principal’s license, he was at Mississinewa Valley in Darke County for two years, “where I learned a lot with regards to the administrative practice and then really looked for an opportunity to get home.”

“I’m Preble County born and raised and was looking for a good opportunity to come home and, I just was fortunate enough to find a position at the ESC that was hiring for their alternative school at that point. And we’ve done a lot of changes over the past two years, and turned it into Success Academy,” he said.

“That’s one among many positive steps the Preble ESC has taken,” Derringer said. “There’s a lot of momentum right now. There’s a lot of name recognition, there’s a lot of good quality people that are around and these folks are student first – they’re servant leaders like myself, and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”

“I go where the Lord leads me,” he added. “I really believe that, you know, if you if you trust in the Lord and you lean out on your understanding, he’ll make straight your paths. That’s very much what I’ve tried to do. You want to be a planner, but you also want to be ready when the time comes and you’re called. I’ve been fortunate to put the hard work in, in lots of different stops and in the ability to have some of that hard work be noticed. Did I ever want to be the superintendent? Of course not. But the ability to impact as many folks as we can in my home county is what I’m after. And we can do a lot of good in this county.”

“Just because the county’s small doesn’t mean we don’t deserve the best,” Derringer said. “And I’m really looking forward to bringing the best from an educational perspective in this county.”

Derringer said one of his biggest goals is to be able to truly hear and understand what the county schools are going through. “And be able to walk alongside of them with regards to special education, but also with regards to just improving education as a whole in our county. We have so many good kids,” he said. “We have so many kids that need those positive influences and role models that they should be getting at school, and I look forward to being a small part of walking alongside our school districts in an effort to make everybody better.

“A rising tide raises all ships, and that’s something that I’m going to work really hard to do.”

Being only the 11th Preble ESC Superintendent in over a century is an honor Derringer doesn’t take lightly.

“This truly is a watershed moment, a destination location that only a few people have an opportunity to be a part of,” he said. “And to even be in that breath is really an honor. And I will give the position what it deserves.”

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on X @emowenjr.

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