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Published: Wednesday, 1/17/2007

Board ready to winnow superintendent applicants

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Fourteen more people - including ousted leaders of the St. Louis and the Montgomery County, Alabama, public school systems, and even a former general partner of the New York Yankees - have added their names to the applicant pool for Toledo Public Schools superintendent.

The list of candidates who want to lead the 29,400-student district now stands at 22 - which includes the first eight people who applied by the district's Nov. 30 "soft deadline."

The Toledo Board of Education meets in private tonight to discuss the applicants with its consultant.

The board is paying PROACT Search Inc., a Milwaukee-based firm, $30,000 plus expenses of up to $20,000 to conduct the search.

"It's going to be a long process going over each applicant in a lot of detail," board Vice President Steven Steel said yesterday. "The goal is to come out of that meeting having determined who we will be interviewing."

The board received the initial eight applications on Dec. 8. They included current TPS Interim Superintendent John Foley and Marlene Kennedy Mills, recently former superintendent of the Mason Consolidated School District in Erie, Mich.

The other applicants are:

•Craig Bangtson, of Leitchfield, Ky., the former superintendent of the 14,500-student Bartow County Schools in Cartersville, Ga. Mr. Bangtson holds a doctoral degree in business administration and finance.

•Debra Brathwaite, deputy superintendent and chief academic officer of the 16,000-student Dayton Public Schools. She is in her fourth year with the Dayton school system.

•Kimberly Caldwell, of Potomac Drive in Toledo, facilities coordinator and assistant principal of Libbey High School. Ms. Caldwell has a doctoral degree in American studies from Bowling Green State University.

•William DeFrance, of Eaton Rapids, Mich., the superintendent for the 3,100-student Eaton Rapids Schools since 2004. Mr. DeFrance has a doctoral degree in education from Wayne State University.

•Luis Gonzalez, of San Antonio, superintendent for the last three years of the 2,000-student Mathis Independent School District in Mathis, Texas. Mr. Gonzalez, who has a doctoral degree in educational administration, was superintendent of Mason Consolidated from November, 1996, until he left in September, 2001, to become superintendent of the 12,000-student Edgewood Independent School District, San Antonio.

•Michael Harding, of Granger, Ind., superintendent of the 7,000-student Michigan City Area Schools in Michigan City, Ind., since 2004.

•William Harner, of Warminster, Pa., a regional superintendent for the Philadelphia school system, which makes him the executive leader for 39 schools and more than 20,000 students, according to his resume. He was the superintendent of the 63,000-student Greenville County School District in Greenville, S.C., and has a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of South Carolina.

•James Harris, of Taylor, Mich., the former superintendent of the Taylor School district and the public school system in Buffalo. Mr. Harris holds a PhD, but his cover letter did not offer specifics, and he did not include a resume in the materials received yesterday by the Toledo school board.

•Karen Jackson, of Milwaukee, interim director of human resources for the Milwaukee County government and a former associate superintendent of human resources for the school system in the District of Columbia. She has a doctoral degree but did not offer specifics on her application.

•Sharron Jenkins Norman, of Lansing, the school improvement director for the Lansing School District since 2004. She has a doctoral degree in educational administration from the University of Akron.

•Michael Jones, of Port Huron, Mich., who was the superintendent of the 11,400-student Port Huron Area School District from July, 2005, to June, 2006, and the superintendent of the 4,200-student East Valley School District in Spokane from July, 2001, to June, 2004.

•Thomas Maher, of Vero Beach, Fla., former superintendent of the 17,000-student Indian River School District in Vero Beach from August, 2003, to December, 2005.

•Joseph Molloy, of Tampa, an assistant middle school principal from Florida who ran the New York Yankees ballclub in the early 1990s when owner George Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball.

Mr. Molloy left baseball after he divorced Mr. Steinbrenner's daughter. He then returned to education.

•Earl Murry, of Maumee, a professor at the University of Toledo. He was the vice provost for faculty development from 1999 to 2003. He has a doctoral degree in education from Ohio State University.

•Carlinda Purcell, of Macon, N.C., who was superintendent of the 33,000-student Montgomery County Public Schools in Alabama from 2004 to 2006. In September, 2006, the Montgomery County Board of Education accepted her controversial resignation about three weeks after several board members sent a letter asking her to resign. She has a doctoral degree in education administration and supervision/special education from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.

•John Sinn, of Bowling Green, a professor and interim director of the Center for Applied Technology at Bowling Green State University. He has a doctoral degree in education from West Virginia University.

•John O'Sullivan, Jr., of Jacksonville, former superintendent of the 21,800-student Independent School District 279 in Maple Grove, Minn., and former superintendent of the 34,000-student Savannah-Chatham County School District in Savannah, Ga. He is a retired Air Force colonel with more than 28 years of military service.

•Stephen Stohla, of Alliance, Ohio, superintendent of the 3,300-student Alliance City Schools the last three years. He began his career as a teacher and joined the Ohio Army National Guard. He left the Guard for active duty with the Army as a major. After 12 years, he left active duty as a colonel and returned to education.

•Curtis Weathers, of Memphis, the principal of a charter middle school in Memphis.

•Creg Williams, of South Holland, Ill., former superintendent of the 36,000-student St. Louis Public Schools. Mr. Williams was pushed out of the job last year, 15 months after he was brought in to turn around the troubled district. He has a doctoral degree in education from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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