STOW — The new school year will see a new face in the operations department.

Stow-Munroe Falls City School District recently hired Rob Gress as the new director of operations. The school board unanimously approved his hiring June 28. The board also accepted the resignation of Mark Fritz, the current director of operations. His last day will be July 31 after serving with the district four years.

Gress will begin his new position on Aug. 1.

As Stow-Munroe Falls’ director of operations, Gress will administer the business operations of the district and actively supervise district staff members. Gress plans to make an impact on the lives of students and staff by providing the facilities and services they need and deserve.

"As a leader, I focus largely on the human element of my work," said Gress. "Organizations are most efficient and effective when all staff members are respected and trusted. I believe in having systems and structures in place that make it easy for employees to do the right thing, and I will thus work to ensure that our systems and structures are set up for that."

With two master’s degrees in secondary education and classical languages and literature, as well as advanced graduate coursework in education administration and educational leadership, the district says Gress is more than prepared to commit to his new role with enthusiasm and commitment.

Gress’ long-term goals with the Stow-Munroe Falls schools include ensuring that the office of operations delivers a high-quality educational experience and utilizes fiscal resources wisely.

"I couldn't be more excited to be in Stow-Munroe Falls," said Gress. "I'll always treat people with respect and dignity. Every interaction and every decision will be one that represents Stow-Munroe Falls well and makes the district proud."

Gress will join SMFCSD following his professional experience in Alliance City Schools, where he served as Alliance High School’s career and technical education director and principal from 2002 to 2009 and Alliance’s director of secondary education from 2009 to 2013. For the last five years, Gress acted as Alliance’s assistant superintendent, overseeing human resource operations for the district and monitoring school operations such as budget and professional development.

Gress participated in the completion of an extensive Ohio Facilities Construction Commission full renovation of Alliance High School. Additionally, he served as the lead certified team member for the construction of a new career center for adult education and a new space dedicated to trade education. He was also a development team member for the planning of the Alliance High School Athletic Facility.

Gress also has years of experience negotiating union contracts, evaluating district-wide technology innovations and collaborating with city and school district transportation personnel. Additionally, he served as the district liaison with the Alliance Police Department and worked with first responders to coordinate safety drills.

"We are all looking forward to Rob’s appointment as director of operations and know he will make a positive impact on the lives of students, staff members and our community at large," said Superintendent Tom Bratten. "He is passionate about serving our district to the best of his abilities, and I look forward to all that he will do for Stow-Munroe Falls."

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423,, or ??@AprilKHelms_RPC??.