In his 27 years as an educator, Mark Kowalski has held just about every position in a school setting. He’s been a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels, a coach, an athletic director and the Director of Operations. And this fall he will become the new Superintendent for Liberty Benton Schools.
“I’ve always believed that the school should be the center of the community because that’s where we grow our future leaders. Liberty Benton has a solid foundation and strong traditions in Hancock County. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the staff, parents, and students about how we can continue to improve upon the tradition of excellence LB already has in place.”
Road to Superintendent
Kowalski graduated from Duquesne University in 1990 with a degree in social studies education. He taught social studies for several years before an administrator suggested that he pursue educational leadership. Soon after he began working on his Masters in Educational Administration at Ashland University. Since then he has diligently worked through the ranks. He is currently the Director of Operations for Harrison Hills City Schools.
Kowalski says one of his proudest accomplishments has been opening a school for at-risk students. “As an assistant principal I was in charge of discipline and attendance. I saw kids who were falling through the cracks and wanted to find a way to help these kids catch up and earn a diploma.” Kowalski worked to open an alternative school called Harrison Central Opportunity School which held classes in the evenings, in a smaller setting, where non-traditional students were able to connect and get more face time with teachers. There they would ultimately earn their diplomas and leave high school poised for success.
Connecting with Students
Although he is currently the Director of Operations for Harrison Hills School District, Kowalski continues to interact with students on a regular basis as a varsity boys’ basketball coach. He enjoys coaching because of the “character and skills participating in a team sport instills in students.” Connecting with students is important to Mr. Kowalski, who regularly attends local sporting events and co-curricular activities so that students can put a face to his name in a meaningful way. Kowalski says he is looking forward to being in the Liberty Benton schools interacting with students, teachers, and staff during the day in addition to attending evening events and athletics so as to build a relationship with the LB community.
Kowalski has been married to his wife Lisa for 25 years. Lisa is an area vice president in charge of workplace banking for PNC bank. They have one son, Austin, who is a sophomore at Kent State. Kowalski, a proud father, shares that Austin earned 12 varsity letters while in high school and was 3rd in his graduating class. In his free time, Kowalski enjoys golf, cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes, caring for his yard and travelling.
In August, Mr. Kowalski will begin serving as superintendent of Liberty Benton Schools.