Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Oregon to begin superintendent finalist selection

Board’s special meeting to winnow field to 3-5 candidates for interviews

The Oregon City Schools Board of Education, at a special meeting Thursday, could select three to five finalists to succeed Michael Zalar, the district's departing superintendent.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the administration building. Board President P.J. Kapfhammer said he expected the board to go immediately into a lengthy closed session to discuss the candidates and come to an agreement on which ones to interview.

“We’ll be talking about personnel matters that we’re not allowed to discuss publicly,” he said, adding the board would come out of closed session to talk about its next step, which would be to schedule interviews.

“This is the most important decision we have to make as a board during our whole term,” he added. “If we don’t get a good applicant who can hit a home run for the district, we could have an interim superintendent or have our assistant superintendent fill in.”

The Oregon district received nine applications by the June 7 deadline. All but one are from Ohio.

The applicants are: Mark Hartman, retired superintendent of the Antwerp Local Schools; Bruce Kidder, superintendent of the Frontier Local School District; Curtis Clough, superintendent of the Franklin Local Schools; Deborah Piotrowski, superintendent of the Xenia Community Schools; Lonny Rivera, principal of Wayne Trail Elementary School, Maumee; Michael Sander, superintendent of the Clinton Massie Local School District; Thomas Gay, National/International Education Consultant, Faircloth and Forsythe and the Quality Schools Group, Wilmington, Del.; Mark Fenik, middle school principal at Bloom-Carroll Local School District, and John Schloegl, director of operations, Kids Unlimited Academy.

Mr. Zalar is leaving to become superintendent of the North Olmsted City Schools in the Cleveland area. He has been Oregon’s superintendent for five years and was principal at Clay from 2002 to 2008.

He was among 26 applicants for the North Olmsted job. His appointment there becomes effective Aug. 1. The North Olmsted school board hired him at a special meeting May 22.

The North Olmsted district’s enrollment is 4,145, compared to Oregon’s 3,821, according to the latest data of the Ohio Department of Education.

North Olmsted has the state’s highest rating, Excellent with Distinction, while Oregon is rated Effective, the approximate equivalent of a B grade. North Olmsted spends $13,697 per pupil, compared to Oregon’s per pupil expenditure of $9,872.

This last year, Oregon school officials decided to reconfigure grades five through eight in an effort to improve academic performance and raise the district's state rating. That plan goes into effect next school year.

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