Saturday, September 04, 1999

Trustee to begin next life chapter

Official also was teacher, pharmacist

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — Early in his career Tom Hayden was a good pharmacist, but he believed he could be an even better teacher.

        Years later, Mr. Hayden did exactly that and more, becoming first a noted instructor, then school superintendent and finally a Union Township trustee whose leadership has been key in guiding the growth of Butler County's fastest-growing community.

        At the end of this year Mr. Hayden will retire from his Union Township trustee position, but that doesn't mean he will be idle. The 63-year-old plans to help his son, Tim Hayden, in operating the Union Township-based Rite Track company.

        “I've always had a need to be involved with people. It's an imperfect world but we can always keep working to improve it,” Mr. Hayden said.

        After giving pharmacy a try in the 1960s, Mr. Hayden realized a more satisfying calling would be to help people more directly through teaching.

        He made a rare mid-course change in his career and returned to school for his teaching certificate, becoming an instructor and later superintendent for Lakota Schools.

Another beginning
        In 1996, he won a seat on the township's board of trustees. Though he is retiring at the end of the year, Mr. Hayden leans more toward describing the next chapter in his life as another beginning rather than an ending.

        “This is not an easy decision, but it is the right decision for my family and me. After 35 years of public service of one form or another, it is time to stop and smell the roses,” he said.

        As one of three Union Township trustees, Mr. Hayden has helped guide the township's rapid business and residential expansion.

        “What I feel good about is having played a part in managing growth in the schools and township. ... It was fun to work together as a team and I think we have managed the growth quite well,” said Mr. Hayden, whose four-year trustee term ends on Jan. 1.

        Union Township Administrator Dave Gully described Mr. Hayden as “outstanding among his contemporaries.”

        “West Chester is the community it is in large part (because of) the leadership of Tom Hayden. He contributed from day one. He was instrumental in getting our economic development off the ground,” Mr. Gully said.

        “Tom served the school district during the explosive growth of both Union and Liberty townships. Part of the reason that West Chester grew to be as big as it is is due to the school districts.”

        Population growth in southeastern Butler County, particularly in Liberty and Union townships, has been meteoric. The two townships have seen an estimated 28 percent increase in combined population since 1996. In that year, population in the two townships was estimated at 64,000, and it is now thought to total about 82,000. According to the 1990 Census, Union Township's population was 39,703; Liberty's was 9,200.

Adjunct professor, too
        Mr. Hayden, whose career includes management consulting for business, also is an adjunct professor at Xavier University.

        A colleague at the university is Jim Boothe, chairman of Xavier's education department, who described Mr. Hayden as “truly interested in serving people.”

        “He's been a strong leader and his mission in life is to help people,” said Mr. Boothe, who is a former superintendent of Reading Schools and an Evendale Village Council member.

        “He's been a mentor to a lot of teachers and leaders.”


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