Jed Morison, Superintendent and CEO for the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, has announced that he will retire effective Dec. 31, 2023, following 54 years of public service.
This is the full message he sent to staff and friends on May 15:
After much consideration and now that the COVID public health emergency is officially over, I have decided to retire from the position of Superintendent/CEO of the Board of Developmental Disabilities, effective December 31, 2023. I wish I could tell you all personally and include a big thanks for all you have done to support the people of our community who have developmental disabilities. It has been a privilege to get to know and learn from so many over these past 54 years — those we serve, their families, staff, Board members, peers throughout Ohio, our local and state partners and the elected/business leaders of our community.
My public service began in 1969 at the age of 21. I started as a school bus driver and Counselor/DSP while in college, then a teacher, Director of the Ohio Special Olympics, Assistant Supt. and Superintendent/CEO for this Board. During 14 of these years, I also enjoyed service in elective office on Bexley City Council.
I have had the good fortune to witness what I often call a civil rights movement for people with disabilities. My first teaching assignment was at Columbus State Institute (now called Columbus Developmental Center), where close to 2,500 individuals lived. Today approximately 100 individuals live there. Educational services were not mandated for all children until 1975, residential options were limited, community employment of individuals with developmental disabilities was seldom an option and community awareness and acceptance was a ‘work in progress’.
We have come a long way, now helping thousands of children and adults of all abilities and their families to live enjoyable, safe and meaningful lives. While there are always opportunities to improve or do more, we and our partners can be very proud of the early childhood, school, employment, residential and other specialized services provided today. Much of the credit goes to parents, who fought hard for local services and had the foresight to work with legislators to establish County Boards of Developmental Disabilities in Ohio in 1967.
I feel fortunate to have learned at a young age that all people, regardless of ability, status or background, have value in so many different ways and our differences actually add richness to our lives. I have learned the value of listening and engaging with people and am proud of the work we (and I emphasize we) have done to offer stability in services, finances and staffing over the years—and we have done this without controversy, drama or division. A big thanks also goes to the residents of Franklin County who have recognized the importance of our services and who have supported every levy request.
I will be fully engaged in the work until December 31 while the Board conducts a search and hires my replacement. I will then begin to take several months of accumulated vacation time and will make myself available to the new Superintendent as needed for the transition. I look forward to a smooth transition. In retirement, Joyce and I plan to spend more time with our four children and their families in Wisconsin, including our 10 grandkids, and we will remain in our condo in Columbus to see what opportunities come next. Thanks again for all you continue to do. Best wishes………Jed