Lori Ward takes interim job with Cleveland schools

Former Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Lori Ward will take an interim position with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District starting Aug. 22.

Cleveland schools CEO Eric Gordon said in a message to district leaders Tuesday that Ward will serve as Interim Chief Talent Officer while the district starts a search for someone to take that position permanently.

Cleveland schools refers to its human resources department as its Talent Team.

Gordon said in his message that while Ward does not have a background in human resources, she is “a strong organizational leader who will ably coordinate the work of the various talent divisions and who will work well with me and our Chiefs to integrate that work into the broader district strategy.”

Ward spent the past 21 years in Dayton Public Schools as a classroom teacher, technology director, chief of business operations, deputy superintendent, and the past six years as superintendent. Prior to that, she spent 13 years with IBM.

She was a colleague of Gordon’s on the Ohio 8, a coalition of urban school district superintendents and union presidents.

Reached Tuesday just before the announcement, Ward spoke about the need to improve federal education policy and state education accountability systems.

“I still have a lot of energy and passion left for urban school systems,” Ward said.

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