Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Sanders awaits final word on job outcome

Mr. Sanders was one of the finalists for the job as superintendent of the 64,000-student district.

The Washington Post and the local NBC affiliate were reporting last night that Mr. Janey had won the recommendation of the panel running the superintendent search.

Mr. Sanders, contacted by The Blade last night, said he had not heard from anyone in Washington. The board of education is expected to make its decision today.

"I'm assuming they're going to call me and let me know," Mr. Sanders said yesterday after returning to Toledo from another interview in Washington.

Meanwhile, Toledo Board of Education members yesterday said if Mr. Sanders was not selected for the job, he probably wouldn't be allowed to interview for similar jobs again. But board members had said they would not have forced him to honor his contract in Toledo, which runs to 2009, if he had been offered the Washington job.

Mr. Sanders, Toledo's school leader for four years, interviewed for the fourth time with Wash-ington officials on Monday. He was competing with Mr. Janey, former superintendent of the 35,000-student school district in Rochester, N.Y., who now is a vice president at Scholastic Inc., the New York-based educational publisher.

David Welch, president of the Toledo school board, said he had spoken with community and union leaders to devise a way to entice Mr. Sanders to stay if he is offered the Washington job.

Mr. Welch would not disclose how much of a pay increase was suggested. Mr. Sanders was paid $182,956 in salary and perquisites. His base salary is $147,768.

Mr. Sanders confirmed that he discussed compensation with Mr. Welch but said nothing was finalized.

Board member Peter Silverman said it would be difficult to offer Mr. Sanders any kind of wage increase.

"We would like to keep him here but we are in a position where we haven't been able to give people raises for a couple of years and we've laid off all sorts of people, so it's difficult to put together a financial sweetener."

The board and Mr. Sanders agreed to a contract extension last year under which he is committed to stay with the school district until 2009. The pact required him to seek permission before interviewing for the Washington job.

Mr. Welch and other board members said it's not likely Mr. Sanders would get that kind of permission a second time.

Board member Larry Sykes said losing Mr. Sanders would be a blow to the school district but none of the members would consider forcing him to stay in Toledo.

"When he was hired, his first goals were to resolve negotiations with the union, to pass the levy, to get parents involved in the district with new programs, and keep the eye on the prize, and that was getting us off academic emergency," Mr. Sykes said. "He has accomplished every goal we've given him."

The board announced Monday that if Mr. Sanders is selected for the Washington job, Sheila Austin, the district's chief of staff, would serve as interim superintendent while a national search is conducted. Mr. Sykes said yesterday that Ms. Austin is completely capable of running the district.

"Unlike Moses, who wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, had he asked his wife for directions, that wouldn't have happened," Mr. Sykes said. "So I am very happy to ask Dr. Austin for direction. Often the right man for the job is a woman."

Blade staff writer Sandra Svoboda contributed to this report.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

or 419-724-6088.

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