ENGLEWOOD — The retirement of Superintendent Dr. Sarah Zatik was announced at Monday night’s meeting of the Northmont School Board at Englewood Elementary. She will retire effective July 31.
“It is with, to use Dr. Zatik’s terminology, with a heavy heart that we allow her to be on the agenda,” said Board President Linda Blum leading into the announcement of Zatik’s retirement. “For those of you who have been around awhile know that Dr. Zatik came to our district six years ago and was going to help us out and finish the year as interim superintendent. We have accomplished so much with her as our leader. I am very sad that this day has come. We really need to wrap our arms around and embrace her husband who has shared her with us for all of these years. You are going to be sorely missed.”
Zatik, whose home is in Sandusky, has commuted between her home on weekends and work since her employment, or her husband has made the three hour drive to come see her when she could not make it home.
She was initially hired as interim superintendent and she had planned to help Northmont by staying for one year. After she decided to make a further commitment to the district she was named full-time superintendent.
“The first year I was just going to come down and help finish out the year for Northmont,” Zatik said.
She decided to stick around and has accomplished a lot in the six years she has spent on the job.
“I didn’t accomplish these things by myself,” she pointed out. “I have a fabulous team that has helped me accomplish quite a bit. We have the brand new facilities (Kleptz Early Learning Center and high school), which were at the top of the list and we’ve made a lot of curriculum changes. We have a lot of state initiatives that have obviously pushed us towards more college credit plus courses and we’ve added all-day kindergarten. That was kind of a dream of mine.”
The last district she served did not have the space or the funding to have all-day kindergarten.
“When we built the new building here we had the space and then the state came through and changed the formula for counting kindergarteners, so we had the money and the space, so that worked out very well,” she said.
Zatik has been in the education field since 1978. Prior to coming to Northmont she served as the superintendent for the Parma School District for seven years and eight years as the assistant superintendent. Prior to that, she served as the personnel director for the Lakewood City School District. While with the Lakewood City Schools for eighteen years, she coordinated and taught in the Adult and Youth Education Programs (GED/ESL) and Evening High School Credit Programs, prior to her extensive work in the Human Resource Department.
In 2005, Dr. Zatik was honored by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators as the Ohio Betsy M. Cowles Women in Leadership recipient. She also received the Exemplary Leadership Award by the same state organization in 2006. In 2008, she was honored by the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce for the distinguished individual award of Parma Area Chamber Pride Award for her outstanding service to the community. In 2007, she was awarded the Ohio Department of Education Asset Builder of Distinction Award for her continued efforts in building assets in youth.
Zatik has taught in the Educational Administration Department at Baldwin-Wallace College. She has been a guest instructor at several higher education institutions including Cleveland State University, Akron University and Ashland University.
As a committed Rotarian, Dr. Zatik was awarded the highest honor in the Parma Rotary Club of the Paul Harris Service Award. She is a past president, a devoted member, and practices the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.”
Zatik’s husband, Andrew, owns a rental business in the Cleveland area in Parma Heights.
“He has not figured out a way yet to retire, and I am a pretty active person. I don’t see myself completely retiring,” Zatik added. “I might do something on a part-time basis up there. If another interim position comes up of some kind… it doesn’t have to be a superintendent, I might help a district out probably for the next couple of years. I have a fourth and fifth grandchild on the way, so I do want to spend time with them and probably eventually do some more traveling and maybe have a condo in Sandusky and one in Florida at some point.”