Russia BOE hires principal

By Melanie Speicher -



RUSSIA — A new principal was hired by Russia Local Schools Board of Education during a special meeting Sunday evening.

Marcus Bixler was awarded a two-year limited contract for the kindergarten to 12th-grade principal position. His contract begins Aug. 1, 2018, and he will be paid $84,000 per year.

The board, before hiring Bixler, met in executive session to interview the two finalists for the job.

According to Superintendent Steve Rose, the district had 34 applicants for the principal’s position. After the first round interviews, the top three candidates were interviewed by a committee of teachers and staff representing the district. The top two candidates were selected for an interview with the board of education.

“Mr. Bixler was selected as the best candidate as he brought a wealth of administrative experience to the district and a passion for the district,” said Rose. “I am confident he will be a great addition to the school and community!”

Bixler is currently the principal at Arcanum-Butler Middle School, a position he has held since 2014. He has 11 years of experience in the classroom, having taught from 2006 yo 2014 at Piqua High School as a math teacher and from 2003 to 2006 at Carey Middle School as a math teacher.

In his letter of application, Bixler wrote, “In my current position as principal at Butler Middle School, along with 11 years of teaching middle and high school math, I have gained the skills and experience needed to become a successful school administrator. My experience as an administrator, in the classroom, and on the court have taught me the leadership skills, work ethic, attention to detail and teamwork needed to develop an atmosphere conducive to student learning. In addition, I have been able to successfully balance everything on my plate by remaining extremely organized and possessing a work ethic that is second-to-none.”

He is also the varsity boys basketball coach at Arcanum High School. He was varsity boys basketball coach at Tippecanoe High School, Tipp City, from 2012 to 2014 and at Franklin Monroe High School, Pitsburg, from 2009 to 2012, where he was named County Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2011..

He was also a varsity assistant basketball coach and junior high track coach at Carey High School in 2003; assistant basketball coach at Bluffton University from 2004 to 2005; varsity basketball coach at Piqua High School from 2006 to 2007 and was named District 9 Coach of the Year in 2006; and a volunteer assistant basketball coach at Ansonia High School in 2008.

As the principal at Butler Middle School, Bixler developed a cutlure focused on Respect, Responsibility and Performance as part of the PBIS program. The middle school earned the Momentum Award for student growth given by the Ohio School Boards Association in 2016 and 2017.

He also developed the building-wide 1:1 Learning Initiative where every student was given a Chromebook.

While he was teaching at Piqua High School, Bixler was part of the Transforming Teaching and Learning Grant Team which earned $160,000 for the school.

Bixler is a 1999 graduate of Franklin Monroe High School, where he served as class president, SADD president, played basketball and ran cross country and track. He is a 2003 graduate of Bluffton University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics; a 2008 graduate of Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa, with a Master of Education in Quality Schools; and a 2011 graduate of the University of Dayton with an Educational Leadership Licensure.

While at Bluffton University, he played basketball and was a two-year captain.

He and his wife, Abby, are the parents of two sons, Paxson, 7, and Gus, 4. He enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and fishing.


By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.