Civics Education Leader to Retire
As director of programs at the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE), Jared Reitz has been at the center of the statewide effort to enhance civics education among Ohio’s students. Today, Reitz reflects on his 15-year career at OCLRE as he prepares for retirement on June 30.
“Over the years, I have had the good fortune to hear so many students speak intelligently and with confidence about the law, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, public policy, and community issues important to them. To a teacher, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Reitz said.
Reitz started at OCLRE after 30 years as a social studies teacher in Piqua City Schools, where he was involved with OCLRE’s Youth for Justice program and Law & Citizenship Conference. After retiring from classroom teaching, Reitz became an education consultant, developing a number of teacher in-service workshops and sharing his experience with classroom teachers throughout Ohio focusing on hands-on creative simulations and activities.
Reitz’ tenure with OCLRE began in 1995 as an instructor and counselor at the summer Academies and Camp program and he became director of the program in 1999. Persuaded by OCLRE’s former Executive Director Deb DeHaan to start a second career, Reitz began full-time at OCLRE on January 1, 2000, as director of programs. In this capacity, he brought his experience, insight, and enthusiasm for classroom teaching to the organization. During that time, Reitz helped develop the Middle School Mock Trial program and expand the We the People program to elementary and middle school students.
While Reitz has worn many hats as director of programs, his primary responsibilities included direct oversight and supervision of OCLRE’s professional development and student-led programs. He developed curriculum, created teacher professional development programs, and led OCLRE to the next level of customer service and professionalism. Reitz also served as OCLRE’s representative on local, state, and national education professional organizations including the Ohio Council of Social Studies and the Center for Civic Education.
“Jared is passionate about OCLRE’s mission and is respected by teachers, administrators, and OCLRE stakeholders throughout Ohio” said Lisa Eschleman, OCLRE’s executive director. “He has had a tremendous impact on law-related and civic education in Ohio and the lives of thousands of teachers and students. He is a professional in every aspect of the word.”
“Working with the dedicated staff, a committed board of trustees, and enthusiastic volunteers, it has been a pleasure to be a part of an organization that offers high-quality civic education programs for teachers and students,” Reitz added.
He is looking forward to traveling during retirement, including a trip to Morocco to visit his niece and her husband with the U.S. Embassy.
Reitz holds bachelor’s degree in comprehensive social studies education from Urbana University and a master of education from the University of Dayton. He has been honored as Piqua City Schools Teacher of the Year, OCSS Middle School Teacher of the Year, and Ashland Oil Individual Teacher Award. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Ashland University.
OCLRE is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization whose goal is to improve society by developing citizens empowered with an understanding of our democratic system. OCLRE is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, Ohio Attorney General, Ohio State Bar Association, and American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation.