Dayton schools hire Indiana educator as associate superintendent

Michael Sullivan, longtime Indiana educator who will become associate superintendent of academics for Dayton Public Schools in summer 2019.
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Michael Sullivan, longtime Indiana educator who will become associate superintendent of academics for Dayton Public Schools in summer 2019.

Dayton Public Schools has hired Michael Sullivan to serve as associate superintendent of academics beginning in July, filling a position that had been vacant.

Sullivan worked for more than a decade in Indianapolis Public Schools as a teacher and administrator. DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli touted his experience in the “turnaround” process for struggling schools while principal at John Marshall High School in Indianapolis.

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In the past few years, he has been an administrator in Fort Wayne, Pike Township and Muncie Schools in Indiana. Lolli said he’s currently directing an alternative program in Muncie.

The Muncie district’s website lists him as supervisor of their Youth Opportunity Center program. The YOC is described as an outpatient and residential treatment facility teaching life skills to at-risk youth, using “clinical, behavioral, medical and academic strategies.”

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“He knows Marzano, he knows gradual release, which are things we’re working on (in DPS),” Lolli said, referring to two common teaching strategies. “He has experience as a chief academic officer and he’s very well-versed in curriculum, instruction and assessment.”

Sullivan will be one of two associate superintendents, joining veteran Shelia Burton, who oversees operations, transportation, safety and human resources. Sullivan’s position would be over curriculum and instruction, special education and individual school leadership.

Lolli said Sullivan will spend some time in Dayton in the coming months as he prepares for the new role.

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DPS’ organizational chart has changed frequently in recent years. Markay Winston was hired into a Chief Academic Officer role similar to Sullivan’s new post in summer 2016, but she left after one year. Lolli was assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at that point, but was then elevated to superintendent when Rhonda Corr was placed on leave in November 2017.

Cafeteria changes

Dayton’s school board has approved five contracts with Radius Design Works of Cincinnati, at $70,000 each, to improve the look of school cafeterias at Wogaman, Belle Haven, Cleveland, Edison and Kiser schools.

The contracts call for graphic design work that Burton said will make the cafeterias more colorful and interactive. She said the district intends to eventually upgrade the cafeterias in all DPS schools. At $70,000 per school, that cost could approach $2 million.

Headquarters move

As part of DPS’ ongoing plan to move its headquarters to a smaller complex across Ludlow Street, the school board approved two contracts totaling $217,062. The contracts with CDW are for infrastructure hardware and support at 136. S. Ludlow St. Burton said the company is handling wiring and computer connection issues at the building.

Human resources

Lolli has repeatedly talked about reorganizing Dayton Public Schools’ human resources operations, as the district attempts to better attract and retain talent. In March, the school board will be asked to hire three new employees as “human resources partners” at salaries of $78,989 each.

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