Assistant superintendent set to become next leader of Carmel Clay Schools


Carmel Clay Schools Superintendent Michael Beresford plans to retire after the 2024-25 school year, and CCS Assistant Superintendent Thomas Oestreich is set to be his successor.

The announcement came at a school board special session July 8 at the CCS Educational Services Center. A vote to make the transition official will occur at a later date.

Beresford became CCS superintendent in 2018 after working for 25 years at Hamilton Southeastern Schools. He began his education career as a high school English and journalism teacher and has served as a school counselor, director of school counseling, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent.

By the end of the next school year, Beresford will have worked in education for 43 years. He said he has been thinking about the timing of his retirement “for a while.”

“I don’t have a particular moment, but sometimes things just become clear,” he said. “(My wife and I) thought it through, and we’ve done some soul-searching and planning, and we’ve decided it’s probably time.”

Beresford said he alerted school board members about his plans to retire a few months ago to give them time to select his replacement. Hiring a superintendent is among the board’s state-mandated responsibilities.

Oestreich joined CCS in early 2020 as the assistant superintendent of staff and student services. He previously worked for the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township as assistant superintendent. At CCS, he is responsible for managing recruitment, retention and talent development of employees and overseeing school safety and mental health initiatives.

Beresford said he “hit the jackpot” in hiring Oestreich at CCS and described him as a “good human being” and a “man of character.”

“Carmel has an opportunity to have a stable, outstanding leader for over a decade. His career is just blooming,” Beresford said. “To hand (the position) over to him is just outstanding. You don’t just hand over your baby to anybody.”

Oestreich has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Butler University and a master’s degree in school administration and Doctor of Educational Leadership, with a minor in curriculum instruction, from Indiana University.

When Beresford was hired as CCS superintendent, he said he felt he was the “luckiest guy on the planet.” Six years later, he said he still felt the same way about the job.

“I really enjoyed every moment, from the elementary programs to the state championships and performances,” he said.