Springboro leader to step down, says local resident should lead schools

Carrie Hester is the acting superintendent of the Springboro school district.

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Carrie Hester is the acting superintendent of the Springboro school district.

Carrie Hester, interim superintendent of Springboro Schools, will not fill that role for 2020-21 as originally planned, district officials announced Friday.

An email to district staff Friday says Hester has asked to return to her previous role as the district’s assistant superintendent of administrative operations. That move will be voted on by the school board Wednesday, according to the email.

JANUARY: Springboro extends contract of interim superintendent

“I have a 45-minute commute to work, and the superintendent role requires and also deserves to be filled by someone who is either a community member or lives very close by,” Hester said Saturday.

Hester said there’s important work to be done in the human resources and operations departments.

“I want to lead that charge and be devoted to the work,” she said.

Hester took the assistant superintendent role in August 2019 when Superintendent Dan Schroer was placed on administrative leave, amid allegations of misconduct involving mileage reimbursements, sick days and use of work days. He resigned later that month as part of a financial settlement agreement.

In January, Hester’s interim superintendent contract was extended through 2020-21, with school board president Jamie Belanger saying at the time that “stability is important” and saying Hester had excelled in the role. Hester said at the time she was honored by the move.

OCTOBER: Schroer was accused of misconduct on pay, mileage

District spokesman Scott Marshall said Friday the move had nothing to do with Hester’s performance, saying the board was happy with her work.

“The Board fully supports Mrs. Hester and her decision, and we look forward to having her remain an integral part of the district’s leadership team,” Belanger said in a statement.

Friday’s announcement said the school board will immediately begin a search for a new interim superintendent, seeking candidates who have successfully served as superintendents in the past.

District officials said during the second half of the 2020-2021 school year, the board will decide whether to employ a search firm to fill the superintendent position on a more permanent basis.

AUGUST: Former HR director Hester becomes interim superintendent

“We want to ensure that we bring in an individual who is committed to continuing the work that is already underway,” Belanger said Friday. “Bringing new ideas, while also utilizing the immense talent already on hand in our district, across administration, teachers, and staff is very important. We will look to our next interim superintendent to maintain our culture, support our staff, work with our community, and keep the district’s priorities moving forward.”

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