RPCVs in the news
Meet Catherine Trevathan, Hillsdale Local’s new well-traveled superintendent
By Linda Hall
MOHICAN TWP. OHIO − Catherine Trevathan will bring a world of experience to the Hillsdale Local School District when she becomes its new superintendent in August.
She has crisscrossed the globe as an educator since graduating from the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Cincinnati, having held positions in Bulgaria, Turkey, the Hopi reservation in Arizona and most recently, the Little Miami Local Schools in Ohio.
“I’ve been blessed with a lot of interesting experiences,” Trevathan said.
She recalled sitting outside on a starry night with her dad when she was in eighth grade and telling him she wanted to join the Peace Corps.
He may have considered it a youthful dream and been a bit surprised following her college graduation when she said to him, “Guess what? The Peace Corps accepted me.”
Thus began the adventure that took her from Harrison, Ohio, to far-flung locations.
As a new recruit in the Peace Corps, she thought she was going to be sent to Africa to build fish ponds, but instead was directed to Momchilgrad, Bulgaria, to teach English to kindergartners through adults.
“It was fantastic,” she said.
Following her two-year commitment, she had the opportunity to spend a year in Antalya, Turkey, at a private high school teaching English to sixth to 12th grade students. Native English teachers are needed all over the world, Trevathan said.
She spent time back home teaching in Harrison before heading off to the Hopi Reservation in Keams Canyon, Arizona, on a fellowship program through the Peace Corps.
She acknowledged knowing little about the Native American culture, but soon became fully immersed in it, teaching 11th- and 12th-grade courses at Hopi High and also coaching volleyball and basketball. Simultaneously, she took time to work on her master’s degree in special education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
Trevathan also holds a master’s degree in administration from the University of Cincinnati and a doctoral degree in education from American College of Education.
She has most recently served as the principal of Little Miami High School in Morrow. Trevathan is now replacing the retiring Steve Dickerson at Hillsdale.
Trevathan’s decision to direct her attention to special education stemmed from teaching so many students who benefited from it and desiring as an educator to serve all students.
Her experience includes coordinating and instructing a multi-handicapped classroom in Harrison’s Southwest District.
Special education remains “a big part of my heart,” she said.
In moving to Hillsdale, Trevathan said, “I felt like I was ready to be a superintendent.”
She also is primed to be part of a smaller district in which she gets to be part of the daily business of a classroom.
“You need to pinch me,” she said, referring to enjoying the advantages of joining the Hillsdale community. She praised its facilities, small class sizes and other opportunities, while also embracing them for her two sons – a fifth grader and a high school freshman.
As education trends change, for example, “flip-flopping” from emphasizing college visits to incorporating career options, Trevathan’s philosophy is “embracing differences,” she said.
She recognizes what a variety of people can bring.
Educators are tasked with “supporting (students) where they are and who they are,” Trevathan said. “We can do so much to help them meet their goals.”
Experience in a wide variety of educational settings has taught her kids are same no matter where they are.
“Keeping kids first” is behind every decision she makes, Trevathan said. “I can sleep at night knowing I’m an advocate for kids.”