Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
Thieman new Cheryl Ann superintendent
By Margie Wuebker
CELINA - The Mercer County Board of Developmental Disabilities has named Shawn Thieman as its new superintendent.
Thieman, 42, St. Henry, the current business manager of Cheryl Ann Programs, will replace long-time superintendent Mike Overman, who is retiring at the end of the year after 32 years of service.
Board president Teri Spoltman made the announcement at Monday's board meeting. Thieman, who has served as business manager since 2008, was chosen from a field of nine applicants after meeting all the qualities the board sought in a new leader, officials said.
Randy Beach, a former county board superintendent who now works as a consultant, assisted in the selection process. Thieman was selected after the board narrowed the field to four applicants, Spoltman said.
"He has been our business manager for the past six years, so he obviously has a strong hold on the financial aspects of running the program," she added. "He has also developed a strong chemistry with not only the other employees, but more importantly the people with disabilities in Mercer County whom we serve."
Thieman said he has been training for the new post for years, going from clinical to administrative levels.
He spent eight years as program director for Tri-County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board, based in Van Wert. Prior to that, he was a case manager with the Mercer County Mental Health Center in Coldwater and worked with families, hospitals and individuals.
"I learned from that experience how important family support can be for people who are struggling to fit into society, and I learned what it was to have a good relationship with the people you are trying to help," he said. "I would not be where I am today if I did not have that experience."
Thieman, who holds a master's degree in business administration from Wright State University, said he came to appreciate the importance of solid administration during his work with the Tri-County Board.
"My work there gave me the ability to really see an organization and how it works," he said. "The thing that surprised me the most was that you can touch people's lives just as much through well-grounded policies and good, common-sense decisions as you can by working with them one-on-one."
Overman and Thieman said the transition has already begun.
"I am extremely happy the next superintendent came from within the program," Overman said. "Shawn is a real good guy and Cheryl Ann will be in real good shape with him at the helm."
Thieman must now train someone to take over the duties of business manager. He also plans to work closely with Overman until his scheduled retirement Dec. 31.
"In the future I would like to host some open houses to give people opportunities to come here and get a better understanding of what the Cheryl Ann Programs entail," he said.
Thieman and his wife, Tracy, have three children.