TPS Proud isn’t just a catchphrase for Toledo native Dr. Romules Durant. In everything he says and does – and wears – Dr. Durant shows his unwavering commitment to Toledo Public Schools.
A proud graduate of Waite High School, Dr. Durant has received three degrees from the University of Toledo: a Bachelor of Education degree in 1998, a Master’s of Education degree in 2002 and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision in 2007.
Employed by TPS since 1999, Dr. Durant started his career as a fourth grade teacher, then became a dean, an assistant principal, an elementary school principal and an assistant superintendent before being named Superintendent for Toledo Public Schools in December, 2013.
When Dr. Durant became superintendent, he introduced a new mission, vision and core commitments. In short, the new mission declares that Toledo Public Schools strives to produce competitive college and career ready graduates through a rigorous curriculum across all grade levels. Since Dr. Durant became superintendent, the district has seen the graduation rate jump 21 percentage points for all students and closed the achievement gap between Caucasian and African American students. TPS has also recorded an increase in enrollment.
In addition to the graduation rate increases, Dr. Durant has worked with his team to add Career Technology programs that provide students with an introduction to possible career options in some of the most sought after industries in northwest Ohio.
To make sure that all students can find the best school to foster their talents,
Dr. Durant has overseen the creation of four thematic schools: two more STEMM academy elementary schools, plus Jones Leadership Academy of Business and the Aerospace & Natural Science Academy of Toledo, with the latter two aimed at preparing high school students for high-tech jobs of the future.
Dr. Durant is very cognizant of making sure there are attractive paths for students seeking to attend college after graduation. In addition to adding National Honor Society chapters across the district, Dr. Durant’s team has expanded Advanced Placement courses from four to 23 and he has made sure 12 associate degree tracks have been developed for high school students. This emphasis has resulted in more than 800 TPS students amassing college credit.
The district continues to progress toward universal PreK for all students, an important goal for Dr. Durant as he sees it as an equal starting point for all students, despite their socioeconomic status.
Dr. Durant has two major highlights to share that other superintendents would envy: for the first time in the history of Toledo Public Schools, one of the district’s teachers has been named Educator of the Year for the State of Ohio, plus TPS can now boast of the two-time Division II state championship girls’ basketball team.
The state championship wins by the Lady Rams of Rogers High School is especially meaningful to Dr. Durant because he made it a top priority to restore athletics after they were cut in a cost-savings move by a previous administration.
One of Dr. Durant’s proudest achievements is founding the Young Men of Excellence and the Young Women of Excellence mentoring groups. Members are well known for performing service projects in their community.
There’s a positive momentum building across the school district and that can be attributed in part to Dr. Durant’s visionary approach to running an urban school district. He has never lost sight of the fact that he has the same goal for today’s TPS students as he had for himself: to rise up from modest means to achieve success first in school and then in life.