Miami Trace Local School District – Fayette County, Ohio

April 22, 2024

Miami Trace Local School District

Nurturing Meaningful Connections


Leveraging a holistic approach encompassing wellness, innovation, strategic partnerships, and connections to cultivate success beyond the classroom.

Situated in the heart of Ohio, the Miami Trace Local School District is a pillar of educational excellence, serving its community with unwavering dedication. Known for encouraging growth, learning, and community engagement, the district exemplifies the power of quality education combined with meaningful relationships and opportunities.

Kim Pittser, the Miami Trace Local School District Superintendent, eloquently shares what makes this district unique. “Here at Miami Trace, we live out our mission statement, which involves providing quality education with relationships and opportunities. Those two keywords—relationships and opportunities—are genuine. We value them. Our staff, our community, and our students. We take great pride in living out our mission because we know that through relationships and through the opportunities that we provide our students, they will be ready for their future.”

Pittser’s words reflect the district’s allegiance to excellence and highlight the integral role of relationships and opportunities in shaping the educational experience. Miami Trace Local School District believes that the heart of education lies in the connections between students, educators, and the community. These connections serve as the foundation upon which students can explore, learn, and prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the global market.

Early Education and Literacy Initiatives

The importance of early education and effective literacy programs cannot be overstated, especially in the wake of the educational disruptions caused by the global pandemic. The Miami Trace Local School District recognizes these foundational years’ critical role in a child’s development and has implemented robust initiatives to support early childhood education and literacy. Pittser sheds light on the district’s comprehensive approach to early childhood education.

“We have multiple partnerships in our community through the agencies of early childhood. Our staff works diligently with those agencies, as well as the families of our students to prepare them for entry into our elementary school.”

Addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19, Pittser details the district’s literacy efforts to bridge learning gaps. “Yes, with the requirements right now, all staff members are completing dyslexia training as required. And they are investing many hours outside of the school day to be prepared for anything that arises in that early literacy realm. We also have an individualized curriculum. Staff members consistently implement multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) as part of the teaching and learning process.

Regarding integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) within the curriculum, Pittser emphasizes the district’s innovative strategies. “We embed as many STEM activities in our math and science classes as possible. We also provide summer enrichment opportunities for our students through STEM camps.”

From an early age, this commitment to STEM education underlines Miami Trace’s forward-thinking approach to preparing students for the demands of the future workforce, ensuring they are literate and proficient in critical thinking and problem-solving skills essential for success in an increasingly technology-driven world.

Facing the Teacher Shortage with Innovative Strategies

In recent years, the education sector has faced a significant challenge: a need for more qualified teachers in crucial subject areas. This issue has forced school districts nationwide to rethink their strategies for attracting and retaining top talent. The Miami Trace Local School District is no exception.

Rob Enochs, the Assistant Superintendent

Rob Enochs, the Assistant Superintendent, acknowledges the targeted nature of the teacher shortage affecting specific critical areas like special education, math, and science. “Not a general teacher shortage, but in particular areas such as special education, math, and sciences. We don’t get many applicants in those areas when they come open.”

In response, Miami Trace has cultivated an environment rich in support and professional development opportunities. “We have a mentorship program, Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, that provides hands-on assistance with progressing their license, especially new teachers. We mentor every new teacher in our district, even if they have experience.”

Additionally, Enochs highlights the district’s efforts to cultivate collaboration among teachers through structured, expected planning times and teacher-based teams. This approach supports educators in refining their teaching methods and strengthens their connection to the school community.

Kylie Lanman, the Student Services and Operations Coordinator, expands on the culture of teamwork and relationships that permeates the district. She emphasizes the long-standing bonds within the school community, attributing the district’s ability to retain highly experienced teachers to the strong relationships and opportunities for growth and success that Miami Trace offers.

“Many teachers have been Panthers their entire lives, which lends itself to deep bonds within our school community.”

Student Support Services

Miami Trace Local School District has positioned itself as a forward-thinking entity in response to changing educational and workforce demands. With a keen eye on the future, the district has established many support services and strategic partnerships to bolster student well-being and enhance their academic and vocational trajectories.

Lanman discusses the district’s proactive stance on mental and social well-being. “Miami Trace has always been ahead of the curve in many areas. Even going back to pre-COVID, we already had established support for student wellness. We have many partnerships with mental health organizations in our community, who are on campus daily with our students and meeting their needs.”

The conversation shifts towards the district’s innovative academic and vocational education approaches, highlighting the importance of dual enrollment programs and partnerships with vocational schools and post-secondary institutions. Pittser and Enochs provide insight into the strategic collaborations that have given Miami Trace students a competitive edge.

Pittser says, “We partner with our vocational school, Great Oaks. We have numerous on-site programs, and more than 10% of our student body travel to Great Oaks for their programs.” Enochs adds, “In terms of dual enrollment, what we have at Miami Trace with our partnerships predominantly with Southern State Community College is pretty impressive. Approximately 26% of our students graduated with at least 12 college credits.”

Pittser also highlights the strategic planning involved in expanding career field connections, “Our partnership with Great Oaks was very instrumental in designing spaces in our new high school for program options.” This emphasis on career readiness and field connections is a direct response to the needs of the new economy, preparing students not just for the jobs of today but for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Strategic Investments and Partnerships

As educational landscapes evolve, so too do the strategies employed by school districts to meet the burgeoning needs of their communities. Pittser outlines the prudent use of funds and the district’s forward-looking projects.

“Most of our Esser funds went directly to the intervention provided for our students post-Covid. We also allotted a portion to structural projects to assist with extensions of outdoor learning spaces and improved air quality in some of our buildings.”

She further elaborates on the district’s anticipation of future upgrades, highlighting a particularly ambitious project to expand its support for student wellness. “We have student wellness funds that have been earmarked for a future learning and wellness center that will be on our central campus. We are in the early design stages.

The collaborative spirit of Miami Trace extends beyond its immediate educational endeavors, as Pittser notes the array of partnerships bolster the district’s initiatives. “We have numerous partnerships within and around our county. Thanks to these strong partnerships, we are able to offer students comprehensive educational experiences.” These collaborations exemplify the district’s holistic education, wellness, and safety approach, leveraging external expertise and resources to benefit the school community.

Lanman highlights the significance of community in these efforts. “That is the beauty of our community. That’s what makes Miami Trace special. We have a tight-knit community which makes these partnerships possible.” This sentiment highlights the integral role of community engagement in enriching educational experiences and ensuring a supportive environment for students and staff alike.

Wellness, Innovation, and Career Connections

As the current year unfolds, Miami Trace Local School District has articulated clear priorities that resonate with the values and objectives central to its mission. In a time where education is increasingly intersecting with various aspects of wellness, community engagement, and future preparedness, the district’s leadership team has laid out its focal points.

Pittser emphasizes holistic well-being. “We plan to continue our service to our staff and students by focusing on health and wellness. That has been a highlight for us this year. Everything is affected by the support of social well-being.”

Focusing on the district’s penchant for innovation and community engagement, Lanman outlines the strategy moving forward. “We’ve done such a good job of being innovative and preparing for the future. We will continue with our many committees in the district to work towards our goals.”

Enochs’s perspective looks at the strategic importance of career connections for students, shifting the focus toward life after high school. “One of the priorities is, and we’ve mentioned it throughout, career connections for students after high school. For so many years, we were focused on getting kids high school diplomas, which is what we’re about. But it’s not how we should be judging our success.” Enochs elaborates on the district’s approach to preparing students for their futures, including individual graduation plans and career exploration initiatives beginning early in middle school.

Miami Trace Local School District’s priorities for the current year encapsulate a forward-thinking and holistic approach to education. By focusing on the well-being of their community, fostering innovation and clear communication, and preparing students for successful futures, Miami Trace is not just navigating the present challenges but also paving the way for a brighter, more connected, and prosperous future for all its members.


Miami Trace Local School District

What: A forward-thinking educational institution that provides a holistic and innovative learning experience.

Where: Fayette County, Ohio



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