Ravenna names its new superintendent; Dr. Laura Hebert of Twinsburg High starts Aug. 1

Heather Rainone
Record-Courier
The Ravenna Board of Education has named Dr. Laura Hebert, principal of Twinsburg High School, as its next superintendent.

The Ravenna Board of Education has named its next superintendent.

Dr. Laura Hebert was approved Monday to succeed Dennis Honkala as superintendent, and will start the job on Aug. 1. Hebert, principal of Twinsburg High School, will be the fifth superintendent of Ravenna in the past 33 years. 

Her starting salary will be $127,000, which district Treasurer Craig McKendry said is "on par" with Honkala's salary. 

The board, along with its consulting firm, Finding Leaders, has been looking for a successor to Honkala, who is retiring at the end of the school year after 10 years on the job. Hebert was announced as one of two finalists for the position last week, along with Jude Meyers, superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools.

Hebert is responsible for the education of 1,300 students at Twinsburg High School in Summit County where she was hired in 2018 after working at Chesterfied Public High School in Virginia. She received an undergraduate degree from Ohio State University, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. She has been in administration roles for a variety of school districts.

“I feel fortunate to be asked to lead the Ravenna School District and to be part of such a wonderful and supportive community,” Hebert said. “I have already learned how much pride everyone has for being part of the Raven community, and I’m excited to continue charting a course that helps us overcome obstacles and be a school district that makes everyone proud!”

Hebert said no matter what role she has served, she has always kept a sign above her desk that reads "Is it good for kids?"

“If we are always viewing decisions from the perspective of how it impacts kids, then they will have a positive experience with their education,” she said.

Honkala will end his tenure on July 31, 2021. Honkala said he is committed to ensure a smooth transition as he hands off a role he has enjoyed, in a community he loves.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve the Ravenna community for the last decade,” Honkala said. “My hope is that Dr. Hebert continues to build on all that has been accomplished as she takes on the leadership role of a district that has its community’s support, is financially stable with the passing of a renewal levy in the fall, and will continue to put the needs of our students first.”

Twinsburg Superintendent Kathi Powers sent a letter to the district's "family" announcing the news, saying the process of finding a new principal would begin soon. She said she was saddened to see Hebert leave Twinsburg, but wished her well.

Hebert, she said, is completing her third year as principal of Twinsburg High School. During that time, Powers said, Hebert worked to ensure that academic, athletic and school programs helped prepare students for success after graduation.

"Dr. Hebert raised the bar of excellence and enthusiastically encouraged student voice and choice," Powers said. "Under her leadership, new and innovative courses were designed that provide a much more diverse and equitable menu of opportunities."