Dr. Stephanie Starcher serves as

2019-20 CORAS President

Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools

An Advocate For Ohio’s Rural Appalachian School Children For Over Two Decades

CORAS logo

The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools, in partnership with the Ohio University College of Education, is an organization composed of 136 school districts, institutions of higher learning and other educational agencies in the 35-county region of Ohio designated as Appalachia. School districts in neighboring counties, institutions of higher education and related organizations may become members of the Coalition. The Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools is under the governance structure of a Regional Council of Governments and is funded through membership dues and support from the Ohio University College of Education.

The Coalition’s Mission and Goals


The mission of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools is to advocate for and support the public schools of Appalachia Ohio in the continuous improvement of educational opportunities available to all the region’s children. This statement of mission acknowledges that the region’s public schools are an integral part of the public education system for Ohio and that the Coalition may support and join with similar efforts throughout the State to improve the educational opportunities for all children.


1. To seek equity in Ohio’s system of school funding and adequacy of educational opportunity for all of Ohio’s children.

2. To support the continuous development of educational leadership throughout the region’s public school systems.

3. To identify and analyze policy issues that impact the effectiveness, strength, and character of the public school system and to formulate and communicate position statements in response to these issues.

4. To sponsor and promote the use of research and to share successful practices for improving educational opportunities for all children in the CORAS region.

Over 70 Superintendents Attend the

Opening 2019 CORAS Meeting

President Stephanie Starcher welcomed CORAS members to the beginning of the year meeting held September 18 at the Olde Dutch Inn in Logan.  Dr. John Richards from the Ohio Department of Education gave an update on the new strategic plan at ODE, Each Child Our Future. This five year plan consists of 3 Core Principles, 4 Equal Learning Domains and 10 Priority Strategies.  The complete plan can be viewed at the following link:   https://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/About/Ohios-Strategic-Plan-for-Education/Final-Strategic-Plan-Board-Approved.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US


ODE Richards

CORAS member Superintendent Dan Leffingwell and his district leadership team then presented on Developing and Empowering Building Level Leaders.


 The meeting closed with a presentation from Dr Renee Klautky and Mr. Alex Dolin from New Horizons Mental Health on “Practical Implications for School Based Clinicians and Mental Health Therapists Embedded in Your Local Schools.”

Members are also being asked to submit nominations for a “Classified Staff Recognition” that will be held at a special luncheon on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at the Ohio University Zanesville campus. Nomination forms will be available at the October meeting to be held October 23 at the Olde Dutch Inn in Logan, Ohio.