Meet Mike Parry, superintendent of U.S. Grant Career Center. Parry’s interview appears as part of a spotlight series on ACTE’s educational institution members (EIM).
Grant Career Center, located in southeast Clermont County, Ohio, provides career and technical education (CTE) programs to four member school districts. While the district offers programming in multiple locations — Bethel-Tate Local, Felicity-Franklin Local, New Richmond Exempted Village and Williamsburg Local — the administrative offices and main campus are located in the village of Bethel, Ohio.
Grant Career Center is deeply committed to serving students, both youth and adult, through strategic partnerships and by engaging business and industry. Innovative approaches; sound, front-line decision-making; and a culture of caring for students and the community are hallmarks of the successful organization.
Mike Parry, Grant Career Center, EIM
What do you do as superintendent of Grant Career Center?
I serve a role as the district’s chief executive — interfacing with the board of education, associate school districts, partners and the community. I work with internal and external stakeholders to develop and implement strategic direction for the organization.
Tell me a little about your upbringing. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in western Pennsylvania, the son of an educator and a social worker. I knew I wanted to become a teacher for as long as I could remember.
What was your postsecondary education experience like? What did you study?
I had a great educational experience. I attended the University of Dayton (UD) — go Flyers! — and earned a bachelor of science in secondary education with two teaching certificates: comprehensive social studies and English language arts. I also have a master of science in educational leadership from the University of Dayton.
What led you to your field?
After graduation, I taught theology on the island of Saipan. I returned to the states and taught for a time at Miami Valley Career Technology Center Youth Connections in Dayton, Ohio. It was during my participation in a statewide career, technical and adult education leadership program that I discovered all CTE has to offer.
After teaching at Youth Connections, I was offered an administrative job with Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, where I supervised programs working with at-risk youth. Subsequently promoted to become the vice president of educational options, I managed alternative programming, online learning, and transitions programs for special needs students.
Later I was selected as the executive director of secondary education, in charge of all secondary programs — both on-campus and satellite.
Is there anything else about your life that you’d like to share?
I have a beautiful wife named Nicolle and two beautiful daughters: Alizah and Ellie.
Do you have any advice about the higher learning experience that you would offer to students who intend to pursue postsecondary education in CTE?
Be bold! Be courageous and be confident. Each person is brilliant in their own uniqueness. Developing a skill, a craft or a trade will serve you well for the rest of your life.