Ohio State Board of Education chooses new state superintendent

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Steve Dackin, an ex-member of the Ohio State Board of Education, was picked to be the next superintendent of public instruction for Ohio, the top job at the Ohio Department of Education.

Dackin previously led the search for the next superintendent of public instruction before resigning and applying for the job three days later. He was also previously the vice president of the Ohio State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education voted 14-4 with one abstention in favor of approving Dackin.

“We must do everything we can to support Ohio’s students, and today’s announcement represents the beginning of a promising next chapter for education in our state,” said state board president Charlotte McGuire.

Dackin succeeds former State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, who retired last September. Stephanie Siddens, the interim state superintendent, did not apply for the job.

Dackin was most recently the superintendent of school and community partnerships at Columbus State Community College. Before that, he was superintendent of Reynoldsburg Schools near Columbus from 2007 until 2014.

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Dackin touted his experience as a superintendent at Reynoldsburg in a written interview submitted to the board. He noted that the district allowed open enrollment while he was there.

“I am also proud to have opened our school district to students who lived outside the school district boundaries, some of whom lived in the City of Reynoldsburg but were located in another school district,” Dackin said. “Because our schools were safe and children learned at high levels, we had families who wanted to attend our schools.”

Dackin received a Master of Science in education administration from the University of Dayton, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Ohio Northern University, according to the Fordham Institute.

Dackin’s appointment was applauded by many Ohio education groups.

“We are encouraged to see Steve Dackin selected as Ohio’s next state superintendent of education,” Melissa Cropper, president of the union Ohio Federation of Teachers president, said. “Thanks to his decades of experience as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and Ohio State Board of Education member, we’re confident that Steve Dackin understands the challenges and opportunities inside our schools and will actively work to solve problems instead of inflame them with divisive rhetoric.”

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Others also noted Dackin’s long experience in education in Ohio.

“It’s heartening that the State Board of Education moved deliberately to fulfill the state superintendent role with a proven leader who has throughout his career emphasized high expectations for all students and recognized the importance of empowering parents with high quality education options,” said Chad L. Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank.

Ohio governor Mike DeWine congratulated Dackin on his appointment.

“His experience, both as a member of the Board and in public education, will help him be an effective voice for Ohio’s students and their parents as he leads the Department of Education,” DeWine said of Dackin.

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