State school superintendent DeMaria retiring

Paolo DeMaria, who has served as Ohio’s state superintendent of schools for five years, will retire Sept. 24, according to an announcement from the Ohio Department of Education.

DeMaria notified state school board President Laura Kohler in a message Thursday.

“The past five years have seen amazing accomplishments, and I know that the great work happening in the education system of Ohio will continue to grow and excel,” DeMaria wrote. “The future of Ohio is in very capable hands, and you have my commitment to support a smooth leadership transition.”

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DeMaria guided the creation of Ohio’s strategic plan for education, called Each Child, Our Future. It placed development of skills like creativity, leadership and decision-making on equal footing with traditional academics like literacy and math.

As superintendent of public instruction, he’s the CEO of the state Department of Education, which oversees more than 3,500 district, charter and STEM schools, with an annual budget of roughly $10 billion. The current deputy superintendent is John Richard.

“Throughout his service in state government, Paolo has been passionate about ensuring that the needs of the whole child are met, so that every child can live up to his or her God-given potential,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.

Prior to replacing Richard Ross as superintendent, DeMaria had most recently worked as a consultant for Education First Consulting from 2010-16. He has served in executive positions in both ODE and the Ohio Department of Higher Education, and as director of the Ohio Department of Management and Budget. From 2000-04, he was chief policy adviser to Gov. Bob Taft.

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“I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to you (Kohler), the Board, the amazing team at the Department and all those who every day give of their passion, knowledge, skills and expertise in the interest of helping students succeed,” DeMaria wrote.

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