Toledo Board of Education to discuss replacing Superintendent Pecko

Jerome "Jerry" Pecko, Superintendent of the Toledo Public Schools, answers questions for the media in July, 2012.

Toledo Board of Education President Brenda Hill said today that the board will likely hold a special meeting later this month to discuss options for replacing departing Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Jerome Pecko.

Ms. Hill said there is no set date yet for the special meeting, but board members are coordinating schedules and hope to announce a special meeting before its regularly scheduled February meeting. Board members will discuss at that meeting if the board will hire a search firm to find a replacement for Mr. Pecko, how much a search would cost and how long it would take, or if there are other, better options, such as hiring an interim superintendent while conducting a longer search for a permanent replacement.

A search to replace Mr. Pecko with a permanent replacement may take longer than the about six months left on Mr. Pecko's contract.

"That's why we want to meet now," Ms. Hill said. "We want to look at our options."

Mr. Pecko announced at a special board meeting last week that he would not accept a new contract after his current, three-year contract runs out on July 31. He had said before the board meeting that he wanted to stay with the district, but only if he had board support.

It was unclear after that meeting whether the board offered him a contract renewal, as Ms. Hill declined comment then about internal board deliberations, claiming she was legally prohibited from disclosing conversations held in a closed-door session.

Ms. Hill today again declined to say whether the board wanted Mr. Pecko to stay, saying "it's not necessary to discuss what was said in executive session," since Mr. Pecko made their decision for them. If he had not resigned, a public discussion on his future with the district would have been

had by the board.

"Because Dr. Pecko decided that he was ready to resign, that question never came up," Ms. Hill said.

Ms. Hill commented on the superintendent search while at a public hearing at Toledo Public School's Thurgood Marshall building on Manhattan Boulevard. Today's hearing is part of the district's performance audit, which is being conducted by a private consulting firm.