Steve Paramore

Advanced degrees from AU help Steve Paramore become Ashland City Schools' superintendent

Published on April 27, 2023

Among the hundreds of graduate-level education students he taught during his nearly 15 years with Ashland University, Robert Thiede said Steve Paramore was one who stood out.

“You knew he was going to do well as an educational leader,” said Thiede, who retired in 2021.

Paramore, who earned two master’s degrees from AU in curriculum and instruction (2009) and educational administration (2014), officially became the superintendent of Ashland City Schools on April 1. He also received his superintendent’s license from AU.

The lifelong resident of Ashland and 1999 graduate of Ashland High School was the interim superintendent since Jan. 1, the school district’s business manager before that and also had been the assistant principal at Ashland Middle School at one time.

“He has a nice background with a bachelor’s degree in business administration,” said Thiede, who was a superintendent for several school districts for 25 years before working for AU. “That financial background has helped him in different administrative roles he has had. That was a quality a lot of my students didn’t have.”

After graduating from Florida Southern in 2003, Paramore returned to Ashland and started coaching the AU women’s golf team. He was a four-time NCAA Division II All-American in men’s golf at Florida Southern and a member of the college’s 2000 national championship team after winning an individual state title (1997) and state team title (1998) at AHS.

With his oldest daughter, Klaira, a freshman on the AU women’s golf team, Paramore is a volunteer coach for the Eagles and even does public address announcing for some AU football and basketball games.

“I enjoy having my dad as a volunteer coach,” Klaira said. “He is extremely knowledgeable about the game, and I have always trusted his insight. He’s never been the dad coach who gives their kid special privilege, if anything he expects me to work harder. He’s instilled a strong work ethic in me, and I appreciate him for that.”

He has another daughter, Maize, a freshman at AHS, with his wife of 19 years, Kerre DeVaul-Paramore, who is an AHS graduate, too, and an art teacher for Ashland City Schools.

In 2004, Paramore became the AHS boys golf coach and, after substitute teaching for a while, got a job as a physical education teacher in the district, followed by his move into school administration.

Paramore said he doesn’t regret not pursuing a career in golf or business.

“I really wouldn’t do it differently,” Paramore said. “I was able to teach and coach at my alma mater. I was able to be an administrator at my alma mater. Now I have the chance to lead my alma mater.”

Klaira said she’s proud of her father for coming out of college with a business degree and first working as a substitute teacher and moving his way up to superintendent.

“His main goal was just to succeed for his family, and he never let anything get in the way of that,” she said. “The support for him in this community is overwhelming, and it makes me proud to call him my father.”

Neil Gupta is another AHS graduate (1993) who also earned graduate degrees (a master’s and doctorate) from AU and recently was named a superintendent, too, for Oakwood School District in the Dayton area.

Gupta said he had wanted to someday return to Ashland where he started his teaching and administrative career before going to the Columbus area for educational administration jobs but is happy with where he is at and that his alma mater selected Paramore as its top leader.

“I was teaching at the high school when he was a student,” Gupta said about Paramore. “He was a leader then and a leader now. I have watched his leadership skills grow. It was a no-brainer for the district to hire him.

“So, there was no reason for me to apply when there was a great choice in Steve,” added Gupta, an Ashland University Board of Trustees member.

Paramore said he appreciates Gupta’s praise and added that Gupta would have been a great choice for the Ashland superintendent job, too.

Like Gupta, Paramore said what he learned at AU really has helped him move up in his education career to superintendent.

“There really isn’t anything that I don’t use in my daily job that I didn’t learn through my graduate work at Ashland University,” Paramore said.