Board expected to extend schools chief’s contract

Move would extend Superintendent Jim Schoenlein’s contract through 2015.

Julie Gilmore, board president, said the board wanted to extend Schoenlein’s contract before it expired because they have been pleased with the job he has done for the district and its students.

“He’s everywhere, which everybody knows, and he’s knowledgeable about staff development,” Gilmore said. “He’s also aware of what’s happening at the state. I think he’s out there on the edge of education.”

In 2008-09, the year before Schoenlein took over as superintendent at Kettering City Schools, the district earned a “Continuous Improvement” rating on the Ohio State Report Card. That rating is below “Effective” and one step up from “Academic Watch” on the state’s scale.

The following year, the district jumped three spots up to the highest state rating of “Excellent with Distinction.” For 2010-11, the district earned an “Excellent” rating, and Schoenlein said the preliminary data for the yet-to-be released 2011-12 report card looks good.

“We’re ‘Excellent’ for sure, but we don’t have the numbers yet on the value-added (component) to see if we get the ‘with Distinction,’” he said.

Schoenlein has been in education for 36 years and with Kettering for 17 years, previously serving as Kettering Fairmont High School principal, director of secondary education and assistant principal. In March 2009, he was named Ohio High School Principal of the Year by the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators.

In the spring of 2009, Schoenlein applied to be superintendent of Beavercreek City Schools and successfully competed for the position of permanent campus director at Springfield High School.

He said he was offered the Springfield job right around the time when then-Kettering Superintendent Robert Mengerink resigned.

The school board approached Schoenlein and asked him to fill in as interim superintendent, which he accepted, and hired him as superintendent in February 2010.

“Originally, when I signed on as a superintendent, I was a rookie,” Schoenlein said. “Now I’m an experienced big district superintendent. There aren’t too many of us around.”

Of the Dayton area’s 10 largest districts, only Lebanon City Schools’ Mark North has been in his superintendent role longer than Schoenlein and Centerville Superintendent Tom Henderson. Schoenlein and Henderson both started working as superintendents Aug. 1, 2009. North has led Lebanon schools for almost seven years.

In January 2011, the school board approved Schoenlein’s retirement and rehiring, decreasing his salary from $155,000 to $130,000 per year. The new contract would continue to pay Schoenlein $130,000 annually.

“It’s the same contract; it’s a basic, bare-bones, no-frills contract,” Schoenlein said.

He said he will be pleased to extend his tenure with the district, which serves more than 7,000 students in southeast Montgomery County.

“(Kettering) has been very good to me,” he said. “It’s a professional place where you’re pushed by other professionals to really grow.”

The Kettering Board of Education meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. today in the Recital Hall at Fairmont, 3301 Shroyer Road.

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