Fairborn picks Lebanon leader for top school job

Fairborn City Schools has named its new superintendent.

Mark North — the superintendent of Lebanon City Schools since 2005 — was approved Thursday night by the Fairborn school board to be the district’s next superintendent, effective Aug. 1.

The Fairborn board approved a four-year contract, through July 31, 2020, for North with an annual salary of $147,500, according to treasurer Nicole Marshall.

North will replace interim superintendent Terry Riley, who has held that position since Sept. 11 of last year.

“Mr. North’s track record in supporting high student achievement, his success with bond issues, and his overall experience as a teacher and administrator, made him a strong candidate from the beginning,” school board president Andy Wilson said in a press release. “We believe he has the expertise to work collaboratively with the board, the staff and community to establish an exemplary vision and direction for the future.”

The announcement came as the Lebanon district prepares to vote Tuesday on a renewal of a five-year operating levy that raises $3 million a year. The district also is in the midst of $72 million in building expansions funded through state funds and a levy.

“We wish him the best in his new position,” said Ester Larson, school board president in Lebanon. “Mark has done an exemplary job for the district. He has certainly moved us forward.”

The Fairborn board received 25 applicants, and North was among two finalists who was selected for a second interview.

North and his wife, Kate, plan to move from Lebanon to Fairborn this summer. They have two children who will enroll in the district.

Riley was appointed Fairborn interim superintendent in September after Dave Scarberry stepped aside because of health reasons.

Fairborn is pursuing new school buildings with assistance from the state, and a bond issue is expected to be on the ballot in November 2016.

The Lebanon board is expected to meet Monday to interview two firms to do a superintendent search and discuss the process to fill the vacant position, according to Lebanon treasurer Eric Sotzing.

This is not the first time North has pursued oher jobs while the leader of the Lebanon district.

In 2009, he was among the final three candidates for superintendent in Oak Hills in Cincinnati’s Delhi Twp. In 2011, North was up for the top job with the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center.

Also in 2009, he was hired for, but turned down, the superintendent’s job in Beavercreek.

The Beavercreek board voted to hire him July 2, 2009, and he signed a contract. But he sent a brief letter of resignation five days later, prompting the board to resume its search.

“I am blessed to live and work in Lebanon,” North said at the time. “I’m fortunate to have a chance to explore two other superintendent opportunities.”

He did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

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