Rossford weighs in on school boss search
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 14 December 2012 10:51
ROSSFORD - Rossford residents got a chance to participate in the district's search for a new superintendent, and several indicated they don't want to be back in a few years doing a search again.
"I want someone who will stick around," said LuAnn Kralovic, a secretary at Eagle Point School. "People who teach in this system stick around. We need a leader who will do the same."
She was participating in one of several focus groups hosted by Cheryl Ryan, deputy director of Board Services at the Ohio School Boards Association.
The Board of Education has contracted with the association to help find a new superintendent.
Ryan was in town Wednesday to find out what district residents and employees wanted in a new leader.
And a number said they wanted a keeper.
"We've had a lot of turnover in superintendents," said resident Kevin Weaks at the evening session.
Bill McFarland has served as interim superintendent since fall, 2011. He replaced Susan Lang who was on the job since fall, 2007. She succeeded Luci Gernot who was promoted to superintendent in 2002 after working for two years as a high school principal in the district. She left in 2007 to become assistant superintendent of the Wood County Educational Service Center.
Ryan said that in the state the average tenure of a superintendent is under four years.
Ryan said that the community is looking for someone who will maintain "the high quality district" they have. Rossford has consistently been rated excellent by the state and was excellent with distinction in 2011.
"The community definitely wants somebody who can shake things up and be reassuring at the same time. It's a balance," Ryan said.
The residents, she said, are concerned about how the district will address its building needs. The district is in the process of deciding whether it needs to build new schools or renovate the buildings it has.
The relationship between the board and the school administration was also discussed.
Some thought the board was too wedded to the administration while others said the board was not allowing the professional educators do their job.
Ryan said the Jan. 4 application deadline may have to be extended. The board hopes to be making a decision early in the next year.
OSBA will take in all the applications, and evaluate them, but will not winnow the field.
"We believe that's the board's responsibility," she said.
Ryan said one of the selling points for Rossford is that it offers a small town atmosphere with proximity to a city.