BRECKSVILLE -- After 16 years, the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center will say farewell to Superintendent Dr. Celena Roebuck at the end of the school year.
Roebuck, who announced her retirement in February, will leave the position Aug. 1.
"Because of our stability and commitment to quality career and technical education programming and services, now is the best stepping-off point for my 16-year career at CVCC," Roebuck stated in a Feb. 24 letter to CVCC staff. "We have built up a tremendous trajectory, demonstrated by high performance and a multitude of awards and recognitions through the years, and I am confident that this will continue and keep improving long into the future."
Roebuck praised her staff and said she has never had "more pleasure and gratification" in her professional career than her work as CVCC superintendent.
"I am honored to have worked alongside each and every one of you, as you are an amazingly talented staff and not only my professional family, but also a part of my personal family as well," Roebuck said.
Roebuck said she expects to continue in career and technical education fields, as she has seen how it "changes lives and creates opportunities for children, adults, families and business communities."
Roebuck first started with the CVCC in 2001 as director of curriculum and technology, and later became assistant superintendent.
"I have had the distinct pleasure of working with her over the last three-and-a-half years as a member of the CVCC Board of education," said Mark Curtis, president of the Twinsburg Board of Education and the Board liaison to CVCC from Twinsburg. "She is someone who has a good grasp of career and technical education and has advocated on behalf of the students and staff at the CVCC at the national and state level. She as able to find high quality talent for all vacancies allowing the district to continue without disruption to services for students and staff."
Curtis praised Roebuck for her work on the CVCC's unique Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology facility, which opened in January 2016.
"I believe her biggest achievement during my tenure is the successful awarding of a $1.5 million grant allowing for the construction of our Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology facility, which is the only one of its kind in Northeast Ohio," he said. "As a result of this facility, our students will have an opportunity to get the training necessary to gain access to high paying manufacturing jobs in the region.
"Her presence will be missed ... I wish her the best in her future endeavors."
CVCC Board of Education President Kathleen Mack said Roebuck was "a pleasure to work with."
"The excitement she has brought to CVCC can be seen throughout the halls," Mack said. "She has been a visible leader in our eight district communities. Her approachability and enthusiasm is well known by our city leaders. We wish her nothing but the best and will be forever grateful for the time she spent as superintendent at CVCC."
CVCC has contracted with the Finding Leaders, based in Independence, to assist with the next superintendent's hire, according to Mack.
Finding Leaders was scheduled to meet April 27 with the Board to go over the results of focus groups, Mack said. The Board could start interviews in May and hopes to have someone hired in June.
"They've run three focus groups," Mack said. "One was with our staff, one was with our administration and one was with our Vision 8 group."
Vision 8, she added, is a group of local business leaders in each community.
"The general feeling of the Board is that we want someone with career technology experience as well as superintendent experience in a public schools," Mack said.
The Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville serves more than 25,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade through its career development program and nearly 3,000 adults annually from 25 different communities who seek career training, according to information provided by the CVCC website.
Currently, CVCC provides education for approximately 1,000 high school students with 30 career-technical programs and offers adults and area employers year-round options for daytime, evening and weekend classes. CVCC serves Twinsburg City School District, the Brecksville-Broadview Heights schools, the Cuyahoga Heights schools, the Garfield Heights schools, the Independence schools, the Nordonia Hills City School District, North Royalton schools and the Revere Local School District.