Salem schools search for new superintendent

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) — Salem City Schools will be searching for a new superintendent this summer.

The Board of Education approved the resignation of its current leader, Tom Bratten, during its meeting Tuesday night. Bratten will resign when his contract is up July 31, after serving five years as leader of the district.

“You know the average superintendency in the state of Ohio at any one school district anymore is actually two and a half years. I’ve doubled that, so pretty happy about that,” said Bratten.

Bratten said he’s also happy to leave the district on good terms and in good hands.

Test scores have improved, and the district has earned an excellent rating from the state two of the last four years. At the same time, he indicated that this decision is a direct result of changes to Ohio’s State Teachers Retirement System.

“This is a very good time, things are changing drastically this year and next year,” said Bratten.

The school board is glad Bratten told them of his decision at this time and that he’ll work through the end of his contract.

“Instead of waiting, finding out that he did find something else in June, July, and at that point trying to figure out what we’re going to do, scrambling to find a new superintendent, this gives us plenty of time to do a search,” said Steve Bailey, President of the Salem City School Board.

It’s not a retire-rehire situation in Salem. However Bratten said he’s already got a few options for what to do next.

“I will be leaving this superintendent position, I do have some other things in the works that I can’t really speak about right now. But, I’m sure you’ll be seeing me again,” said  Bratten.

South Range is also losing its superintendent.

Dennis Dunham will retire in June, but he hopes to keep working. Dunham wants to be re-hired to the same position.

He’s been the South Range superintendent for eight years and spent 10 years as the high school principal. The school board will hold a public hearing in April on Dunham’s request before making a decision on whether to rehire him.

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