Leader says Ohio school board to pick interim superintendent

Richard Ross, Sept. 15, 2015
Ohio Superintendent of Schools Richard Ross. He defended the Youngstown Plan before the state Board of Education on Sept. 15, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The head of Ohio’s state school board has ended a disagreement over who will select the interim state superintendent to serve until a permanent replacement has been found for retiring Superintendent Richard Ross: The board will make the pick.

Board President Tom Gunlock outlined a plan for selecting the interim superintendent in an email sent Wednesday to members of the 19-member panel, the Columbus Dispatch reported. He said the full board will vote on that person at its next monthly meeting on Dec. 14-15 in Columbus. Any member can nominate a candidate.

Citing legal advice from the Ohio Department of Education, Gunlock and others indicated at the board’s November meeting that a succession plan put in place by Ross, a former education adviser to Gov. John Kasich, should be followed. It called for associate superintendent Lonny Rivera to lead the department until a permanent replacement was found. Rivera, a former superintendent of Oregon City Schools near Toledo, joined the department in April.

Some board members objected to that approach, arguing that selecting interim superintendents falls within the board’s constitutional duties. The Ohio Constitution gives the board the power to hire the state’s superintendent and they said interims have been included under that umbrella in the past.

Gunlock’s Wednesday email laid out a plan involving the board. Members may submit nominations for the job, including a letter of interest signed by the nominee, and his or her resume. Nominees will get 15 minutes to address the board before next month’s vote.

Board members will vote on their pick and the person with the least votes will be dropped from the list. Votes will continue in that manner until one person remains.

A search firm to help identify potential permanent superintendent candidates is also expected to be selected at the meeting.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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