A new chief administrator has been hired on an interim basis for Xenia Community Schools. He brings 17 years of experience in public education, mostly from serving as an administrator in Cincinnati.
Gabriel Lofton is a former assistant superintendent for Cincinnati Public Schools, where he began his career in 2000 as a middle school teacher.
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The Xenia school board hired Lofton to serve as an interim superintendent on a one-year contact at an annual salary of $145,000. Based on a recent Dayton Daily News’ analysis of area superintendent salaries, Lofton is in the list of top 10 paid public school administrators in the region, as was the previous superintendent, Denny Morrison, who resigned this summer.
Lofton’s contract includes bonuses for targeted goals, the reward amount to be determined by the school board, and stipulates that he receive the same wage increases as teachers receive through collective bargaining.
The school board plans to utilize the Ohio School Boards Association in the search for a long-term superintendent, which is expected to begin later this school year.
Lofton shook hands and greeted community members after school board members voted to approve his contract during a special meeting Wednesday.
Lofton, who starts work Sept. 11, said one of his first priorities will be getting to know the families, students, teachers and staff members.
“It’s a great community,” he said. There are “lots of great things happening in terms of student achievement and I want to be a part of that to continue the great work that has occurred and to move that work forward. I’m excited to be here.”
The Xenia school board received 17 applications for the position. From that, board members narrowed the pool to six for first interviews and selected Lofton from three who were chosen for follow-up interviews.
Xenia Board of Education President Pam Callahan said the board is pleased with its decision and confident in Lofton’s leadership.
“We are positive that Dr. Lofton is going to move this district forward and keep up the momentum that we’ve already built,” Callahan said. “He’s very qualified. He’s got teacher experience. He’s got experience as a principal … We just know that he’s going to be great.”