“The Bedford Board of Education has appointed Kenneth D. Elder as an Assistant Principal at Bedford high School. Mr. Elder's contract is effective August 2, 2011 through July 31, 2013. he will oversee the 9th grade class and move up with these students until they graduate.
"I am very excited to have Mr. Elder join our high school administrative team,” said Bedford High School Principal Samuel J. Vawters. “He has experience in every grade level, Pre-K—12. He brings to us a unique set of qualities and professional experience which will serve our students very well.”
Mr. Elder most recently served as Dean of Students at Horizon Science Academy-Denison Middle School, a public charter school in Cleveland which focuses on math, science and technology. He was responsible for managing consistent school-wide discipline, promoting school improvement, ensuring school safety, and managing obstacles to student learning.
Prior to working for Horizon Science Academy, Mr. Elder served as Assistant Principal Intern for both William Foster and Elmwood Elementary Schools in the Garfield Heights City School District. “I didn’t see becoming an administrator, it kind of came to me,” Mr. Elder said. “When an (administrative) opening came up (in the Garfield Heights Schools), they asked me if I’d be interested! So I took the job and went back to school to get my master’s and other proper credentials necessary to become a principal.” He had previously served the district as Program Supervisor for the GYFTS Program (Garfield Heights Youth Family & Teen Services Program). He worked as a Social Worker in that program for 3 ½ years before being promoted to supervisor. The GYFTS Program offers school-based services to the children and families in the Garfield Heights district and community, addressing student academic, social and emotional issues, and providing support and intervention.
Before he joined the GYFTS program, Mr. Elder had a successful career as a social worker and a counselor for various other organizations, including Catholic Charities Services, Applewood Centers, and Berea Children’s Home. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in social work from Cleveland State University (CSU) and a master’s in education degree from University of Phoenix. He also completed the Inspired Leaders Principal Licensure Program (formerly the 1st Ring Leadership Academy) through CSU’s Center for Educational Leadership.
“My background in social work and counseling will serve me well in my new position,” Mr. Elder said. “It has helped me to be patient and look at students from a different perspective—at the whole student. I am trained in seeing not only the academic barriers, but the non-academic barriers to learning, and coming up with strategies to address these barriers.” Mr. Elder added: “Everybody seems so excited about being here (at BHS)! Everyone I have met has been so warm and inviting. I am looking forward to working with everyone here and getting to know the staff and students, and allowing them to get to know me.”