SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — The Ashtabula Area City Schools Board of Education has hired a woman with 25 years of educational experience to fill the district’s new director of state and federal programs position for the next three years.

Kelly Washington, who has served as a special education teacher, principal, budget/program coordinator, curriculum director and several other central office positions in school districts throughout Ohio, will begin her duties Aug. 1. 

Her salary will be paid through a federal grant, beginning with $85,000 in 2019-2020; $86,700 in 2020-2021 and $88,434 in 2021-2022. 

The school board approved a job description for a director of state and federal programs at a special meeting June 5 to provide oversight of state and federal grand funds, as well as manage the planning, delivery, assessment and ongoing improvement of operations connected to federal/state funding.

Superintendent Mark Potts said the auditors said the district needed this position and he’s excited to have Washington join the AACS team.

“Her qualifications, knowledge, and experience will be welcomed by our leadership team in helping us to keep moving forward,” he said. “I’m just excited to add a member to our team that brings a wealth of knowledge from other school districts around the state of Ohio.”

Washington earned her Ph.D. in Urban Education Administration as well as a master’s in education administration from Cleveland State University. Her bachelor’s is from the University of Akron with emphasis in special education. She holds a superintendent license, business manager license, principal license, and an elementary and special education teaching license.

“She will be a great asset to our students,” said Mariel Sallee, AACS director of school improvement.

Washington thanked the Board of Education and the superintendent for this “phenomenal opportunity” to serve the students and families in Ashtabula.

“I am excited and blessed to be here as we work together to continue to build our promising future,” she said.

Washington also has been an adjunct professor and served as a turnaround school specialist for the Ohio Department of Education, where she worked with administrators and teachers to increase achievement scores, used data to drive instruction and assisted with building relationships.

She is married with a daughter entering third grade this fall.