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Published: Friday, 3/24/2006

Dedication showcases new school in Toledo

Toledo Public Schools dedicated its new East Broadway Middle School yesterday, touting the $18 million building as another successful component of the district's new school construction program.

Among the 100 people who attended the ceremony were Cleveland school board Chairman Larry Davis and board member Gladys Santiago.

Both were there to observe Toledo Superintendent Eugene Sanders.

Mr. Sanders is one of two finalists to become superintendent of the Cleveland Municipal School District. Part of the Cleveland school board's selection process included a visit to Toledo yesterday and today.

Mr. Davis said the trip was important because "you get a certain feel to actually see the candidate in action and his humor."

Mr. Davis said he was impressed with the large turnout for the dedication event at the new school, which currently has the sixth grades from Oakdale and Navarre schools, but will have 500 East Toledo students in grades six through eight in the fall.

"I think he has the ability to bring people together," Mr. Davis said of Mr. Sanders.

Mr. Sanders, Toledo Public Schools superintendent for nearly six years, resigned in December effective Aug. 31. The Toledo Board of Education accepted the resignation, but is now trying to convince him to stay.

Mr. Sanders said yesterday that he has been "very humbled" by Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's plea for him to stay in Toledo.

"I'm praying about it, and I'm mulling over all the opportunities," he said.

"Right now, there really is no decision to make because no one has offered me anything."

Seventy-seven percent of the Toledo Public Schools' building program, which may total $770 million, is being funded by the state.

The remainder is paid for by local property owners with a 4.99-mill, 28-year property tax levy voters approved in 2002.

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