Kettering’s pick as next schools superintendent plans to get early jump on job

Melinda McCarty-Stewart has been selected as the new superintendent for the Kettering City School District.

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Melinda McCarty-Stewart has been selected to be the new superintendent for the Kettering City School District.

KETTERING — The top pick to succeed Scott Inskeep as Kettering City Schools superintendent said she plans to get a jump on the job should the board of education approve her contract.

“I have plans starting as early as (this) week to spend time with Mr. Inskeep and other staff learning more,” Melinda McCarty-Stewart said in an email.

Kettering’s board is set Tuesday night to vote on a four-year deal with an annual base salary of $175,000 starting Aug. 1 for the five-year Wilmington City Schools superintendent.

The move would make her the first female top administrator for Kettering schools, a system that evolved from one established in 1841 in Van Buren Twp. and changed names after the city’s incorporation in the 1950s, said district Spokeswoman Kari Basson.

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It would also allow for a lengthy transition before Inskeep, hired by the district in 2014, retires at the end of July.

McCarty-Stewart, 50, said she “will seize the opportunity to attend school and community events, including the high school graduation ceremony. Ideally, I would like to find a place to live in Kettering prior to the start of the new school year.”

Those in the school district can expect a “a superintendent that embraces a collaborative approach to leadership,” she said.

“It will be a priority for me to build relationships and trust with the shareholders that will enable us to achieve the objectives and goals of the district,” McCarty-Stewart added. “I value strong connections and communication within the district and the greater community.”

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An emphasis will be “to continue to grow our students to meet their individual needs and goals,” she said. “I will continue to work hard with the team to address the learning gaps for our students. It is important to stay focused on supporting our students in excelling in their academic and developmental growth.”

The choice of McCarty-Stewart over Robert Hill of Springfield City Schools and Gabe Lofton of Xenia Community Schools — also both superintendents in their districts — was announced last week after “very comprehensive discussions,” Kettering board President Toby Henderson said.

The board interviewed and discussed all three finalists in a May 10 executive session lasting about six hours, he said. Each candidate also met with top city officials, and “numerous” stakeholders and community members.

The board deliberated “and came to what feels like a really good decision for our district and for Melinda,” Henderson said.

“We’ve spent some good time with her. We feel really good about working with Melinda going forward,” he said.

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“She’s already got a really good sense — she’s got lots of good contacts already in the district — and she’s worked alongside a lot of our administrators over the years and teachers,” Henderson added.

McCarty-Stewart has been an administrator for more than 20 years since her education career started in 1993 in Upper Arlington, Kettering records show.

She was a special education teacher before taking a series of administrative jobs in the Wilmington and Mason districts, according to records.

She earned a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 1993 and a master’s in education and allied professions from the University of Dayton in 2001.

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