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LIMA SCHOOL CHIEF IS BLUFFTON GRADUATION SPEAKER
Karel Oxley, superintendent of Lima City Schools, will be the Bluffton University commencement speaker on Sunday, May 6. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in Salzman Stadium.
In her speech, titled "The Greatest Gift ," Oxley is scheduled to discuss giving ones self to the community.
Over the last decade, Oxley has been active in the community in Lima, where she was assistant superintendent for one year before becoming superintendent in 2003. She has been a member of the United Way and Lima Symphony boards of trustees, and the boards of the Allen County Economic Development Group, the countys Convention and Visitors Bureau and the West Ohio Food Bank. She has been honored for her service with the 2008 Athena Award for Allen County; the Shirley Dailey Neighborhood Leadership Award and the second annual Lima/Allen County Dr. Martin Luther King "Make A Difference" Award, both in 2010; and the 2012 Distinguished Community Service Award, presented by Allen County Visionaries Inc.
In the city schools, Oxleys accomplishments have included implementation of the Knowledgeworks/Bill Gates $1.3 million Small Schools Initiative and oversight of a $120 million building project. This school year, she also served as president of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and, this month, led a BASA delegation on the Chinese Initiative Experience to China.
Before her tenure in Lima, Oxley worked from 1995-2002 as a regional facilitator for Ohio School Support Teams. Responsible for delivering educational initiatives to 18 northwest Ohio counties, her primary focus was high-poverty school districts designated as "continuous improvement," "academic watch" or "academic emergency" in the Ohio Department of Education rating system. She also presented workshops statewide and nationally about various issues in education.
The Fremont, Ohio, resident, who will retire this summer, began her career in education 40 years ago. After receiving her bachelors degree in elementary education from Marygrove College in Detroit in 1972, Oxley was a language arts teacher for four years at Old Fort (Ohio) Elementary School. She was then a guidance counselor for nearly 20 years in Fremont schools, assigned to all levels of the citys parochial schools. During her final year in Fremont schools, 1994-95, she was assistant principal and administrative dean at St. Joseph Central Catholic, her high school alma mater.
Oxleys graduate degrees are from the University of Toledo. She earned her masters degree in guidance and counseling in 1976 and an educational specialist degree in administration and supervision in 1991.
Bluffton public relations, 4/25/12