New principal returns to lead reopening Leonard Kirtz School

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Dr. Gina Symsek as the new principal of Leonard Kirtz School beginning in the 2020-2021 school year

Dr. Gina Symsek as the new principal of Leonard Kirtz School

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Mahoning County Board of Developmental Disabilities announced Monday that they are introducing Dr. Gina Symsek as the new principal of Leonard Kirtz School beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.

Symsek is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., but has had a successful 32-year career in Ohio.

She began at Kent State University where she earned a degree in education, a Master’s in education and special education and a PhD.

Her first job was at LKS where she was an intervention specialist from 1988 to 1991.

Symsek moved on to teach special education for eight years for those with moderate to severe disabilities. Then, she served as the principal of Ravenna Intermediate School and spent 12 years in Geauga County at Berkshire Schools, where she was a principal, special education and gifted coordinator and director of curriculum.

Symsek also taught upper level courses at Kent State for six years.

She has spent the last seven years in Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District as director of pupil services.

Now, she will be part of the reopening plans at LDS as MCBDD continues to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.

According to Superintendent Bill Whitacre, Symsek has already hit the ground running, even though her official first day is August 4.

Symsek says she is excited to be part of LKS and working with the students, teachers and staff to provide a positive environment in which students can thrive and reach their potential.

“Having begun my education career at LKS as a teacher, I look forward to returning as the principal — it is a great way to ‘come full circle’ in my educational journey,” Symsek said. “I’m looking forward to the start of the school year and meeting everyone.”

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