After nearly a half-century serving Pickaway County students and schools, Ty Ankrom is retiring from the Pickaway County Educational Service Center where he has been superintendent since 2006.
A Circleville native, Ty earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Capital University and proceeded to build a career as a leader in Pickaway County education.
Starting as an elementary school teacher, Ty said that while he loved being in the classroom and working with kids, he was drawn to leadership and earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Ohio State University.
After teaching for five years, he moved into leadership as an elementary school principal at Logan Elm (1979-1983) and then at Circleville (1983-1990).
“I wanted to help other educators and knew that as a principal I could help teachers grow,” Ty said.
Key to his own growth as an educator was John Edgar, a long-time educator who retired as Logan Elm’s superintendent.
“He was my mentor,” Ty said. “He taught me how to be a principal, how to be a superintendent.”
Ty worked for many years in various administrative positions at Circleville City Schools, becoming superintendent there in 1997. After retiring in 2005, he joined the ESC the following year.
In his 17 years at the ESC, Ty said he’s most proud of the expansion he’s overseen, in services to districts and in staff members.
“We’ve grown from 42 employees to about 90 now and I think (the growth) is indicative of the trust that the districts have in us.”
In 2021, Ty and the ESC’s Governing Board created a strategic plan with a goal to improve communication about the ESC within the county and pursue grants more aggressively. The following year, a mental health and well-being component was added.
Ty said meeting the strategic plan’s goals are a point of pride for him.
“We've been able to get a lot of grant money. We do a better job of communicating. And our partnership with the Cook Center for Human Connection is helping people of all ages in the county with mental-health resources.”
In addition to missing the employees — “the best staff in the state of Ohio,” Ty has said frequently — he said he will miss the direct involvement with Pickaway County’s school districts.
“My customers were the superintendents and the administrators and it was crucial that I listened to what they wanted to make sure that they got what they needed.
“John (Edgar) told me in my early days as a superintendent ‘you have to know a little bit about everything but not a whole lot about anything.’ And he was right.”
Over the years, Ty has been lauded for his leadership, earning the Ohio ESC Association’s Carole E. Austin Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 and recognized in 2022 by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators for 25 years as a superintendent (shown with award in photo above).