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Kathryn Hott, superintendent of Springfield Local Schools, announced Tuesday that she is stepping down from her job, citing personal family reasons.
Ms. Hott, 57, declined to comment on her sudden retirement, which will be effective May 31. In a written statement, she cited her eligibility for the State Teachers Retirement System. She said the school board had not asked for her to leave the district.
“My 26 years with Springfield Local Schools have been wonderful,” she said in the statement. “I love the students, staff, families, and community. It has been an honor to be part of this great system.”
Assistant Superintendent Mike O’Shea will take over as interim superintendent effective June 1. Mr. O’Shea has been with the district since 1999, first as an assistant principal at Springfield Middle School. He later served as principal at Springfield High School, and district director of curriculum and instruction. He has been assistant superintendent since April, 2008.
School board President Sherri Koback refused to answer any questions on Ms. Hott’s retirement.
“We would like to thank Kathy for her many years of service to the district,” the board said in a written statement. “We appreciate the work she has done for Springfield Local Schools and wish her the very best as she begins new adventures in her life.”
Marty Perlaky, president of the Springfield Education Association, said that, despite a rocky start, he developed a good working relationship with the superintendent.
“I wish her nothing but the best in retirement,” he said.
Mr. Perlaky said Ms. Hott’s announcement surprised him somewhat, but “based on some of the things that happened [recently in Ms. Hott’s personal life], I’m not completely shocked.”
Ms. Hott’s departure will come in the midst of a campaign to get an operational levy passed in August. The board voted last week to place a 7.9-mill permanent levy on the Aug. 6 special election ballot.
“I have to put my family first,” Ms. Hott said when asked about leaving the district in the midst of a levy campaign.
When Ms. Hott leaves, Springfield will have both an interim superintendent and interim treasurer. In January, the board hired Pamela Barber as interim treasurer to mentor Mindy Ward, who is now assistant treasurer until she receives proper licensing from the state.
The previous treasurer, Ryan Lockwood, resigned in January.
Ms. Hott became superintendent in April, 2008. A district spokesman said Tuesday she could not immediately provide information on Ms. Hott’s current contract with the district. According to the Ohio Department of Education, Ms. Hott’s salary last year was $135,578.