State Board of Education continues search for next state superintendent

The Ohio State School Board got nine proposals to help select the next state superintendent of public instruction, the top leader of Ohio’s K-12 schools. The state board of education’s executive committee will review those nine, said Charlotte McGuire, the Ohio State School Board president.

The proposals came after the board in September directed the Ohio Department of Education to ask for new proposals to search for the next superintendent.

The state superintendent is the top administrator for ODE, which oversees the school funding system, develops academic standards, manages state achievement tests and school report cards, and handles licensing of teachers and other education personnel.

The state has been without a permanent state superintendent since former state superintendent Paolo DeMaria left in September 2021. In May, the state hired Steve Dackin as the state superintendent, but he resigned after only a few weeks on the job after controversy about how he was hired, with accusations of ethics violations.

Stephanie Siddens served as interim superintendent after DeMaria left and returned to the role after Dackin left.

McGuire said she hopes to have someone in the position as the new state superintendent by the end of the year.

She said she wants to have someone student-focused, who can give hope and make Ohio more competitive.

“We can’t do business as usual, which means we need a superintendent who is willing to be visionary, innovative and risk taking,” McGuire said.

John Hagan, a board member from Alliance, had proposed a resolution to appoint one of the firms but didn’t name a specific one, leaving that up to the board. But the board ultimately went in a different direction.

Siddens has been with ODE since 2006, serving as senior executive director of the Center for Student Supports and previously senior executive director of curriculum and assessment.

McGuire said she did not feel comfortable previously authorizing a search firm to look for the next state superintendent last year when the board went through this process because there were so many applicants.

Former Springboro Superintendent Larry Hook was one of three finalists for the job when Dackin was named, but ultimately Hook withdrew his name and moved on to the Forest Hills district in suburban Cincinnati.

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