Trotwood schools to search for superintendent; Howard won’t seek job

ajc.com

Trotwood-Madison schools is beginning a formal search process for a new superintendent, and Acting Superintendent Marlon Howard said he will not pursue the job.

It’s been a wild year for the district. The Memorial Day tornado crushed homes and displaced hundreds of Trotwood students, then previous Superintendent Tyrone Olverson resigned suddenly 11 days before the first day of school. This fall, the community rallied around Trotwood’s football team as they won an emotional state championship.

SCHOOLS: Trotwood hopes to get back to normal after tornado

Howard, who had been the district’s director of operations, was named acting superintendent in August, then had that contract extended through the end of this school year. But he said Monday that he’ll go back to the operations role, overseeing busing, school nutrition, facilities issues and more, in August.

Marlon Howard
Marlon Howard

“At this point in my life, I’m not ready to give the mental and physical commitment (as superintendent),” Howard said. “I have young children, and I want to make sure I can commit what I need to them. Being a superintendent is a lifestyle and it’s 24/7. …It’s just not where I need to be right now.”

Board President Denise Moore confirmed the district will do a formal search for a new superintendent. She had planned to release details of that process Monday afternoon, but would only say they are still forthcoming.

DECEMBER: Trotwood football wins state title in overtime

“We are being very collaborative,” Moore said, adding that Howard has been “a great stabilizer. We are one team, and our only goal is to move our district forward.”

Kevin Bell was Trotwood’s superintendent for six years from 2012 to April 2018. The district struggled academically, but in that final spring under Bell, students scored well enough on state exams to narrowly avoid state takeover.

Olverson tried to build a new approach in the 2018-19 school year but had frequent clashes with the teachers union over the legality of special education plans and other issues. After the May tornado and a summer of relief efforts, Olverson resigned and Howard took over.

AUGUST: Trotwood superintendent resigns suddenly

Howard has been a teacher, coach, principal and central office administrator in Trotwood schools. He and Moore both said their primary goal in the first semester was simply helping students, families and staff regain a sense of normalcy and get back to learning.

Now the district is turning its focus toward the future, with Howard saying he’ll push students academically and staff instructionally until his last day in the job.

“With a whole summer of planning, I think we can move this district forward. I’m 100% behind supporting whoever the district chooses to bring in as the superintendent,” Howard said. “I’m committed to this place and to Trotwood. … I love this place, and I’m not going anywhere.”

JUNE: Trotwood teachers at odds with district leadership