The Press Club is proud to honor Dr. Romules Durant with a Touchstone Contributor Award. This award is given to a member of our community who has made a significant contribution to our region in the past year.
Dr. Romules Durant serves as the Superintendent and CEO of Toledo Public Schools, the fourth largest urban school district in the State of Ohio. On the afternoon March 12, Governor Mike DeWine announced the closure of all schools in the state of Ohio beginning on March 16. With just four days to plan, Dr. Durant made the decision to close the schools and pivot to a 100% learning environment. Realizing that TPS has more than 23,000 families, Dr. Durant established many innovative ways to continue to serve the students of TPS while removing barriers to learning. Some examples include using the school bus fleet to park in underserved areas for community use of Wi-Fi, distributing 8,000 Chromebooks to students who had no access to technology, leveraging partnerships to get internet access for students in need and providing grab and go breakfast and lunch daily for all children in need, not just TPS students.
As graduation approached, Dr. Durant expressed that it was important for him to do his best to make this year’s commencements memorable for the class of 2020. Not only did TPS host virtual graduations for all 10 high schools separately, they hosted 10 drive through graduations for families who were comfortable to come out and receive their diploma. Dr. Durant also learned of a graduate that would be deployed on the day of the drive through commencement, he decided to deliver the diploma to his home in a surprise pop-up at his home.
Aside from COVID related innovation, many other accomplishments occurred under Durant’s leadership in the 2019-20 school year. TPS moved up a letter grade in the state report card, he has led and successfully passed two levy campaigns, opened Escuela Smart Academy- a bilingual school for students and the Aerospace and Natural Science Academy, Jones Leadership Academy of Business, two new STEMM Academies and established countless partnerships for the benefit, growth and development of TPS students.
Dr. Durant is a proud graduate of the Waite High School Class of 1994 and is truly TPS Proud.