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Board hopes to name new superintendent next week

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Orshoski Hirzel

The Blade/Herral Long
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The Lake Local School District, which has had a new treasurer for about six months, is searching for a new superintendent.

Lake school board members hired Treasurer Jeff Carpenter earlier this year to replace treasurer Greg Spiess, who resigned to become treasurer of the Hancock County Educational Service Center in Findlay.

And now they're looking to replace Superintendent Paul Orshoski, who has been Lake's superintendent since 2000 and plans to retire Dec. 31.

The board is looking for a new superintendent to start in August, when Mr. Orshoski will step down and take unused vacation, personal days, and sick time until he retires. So far, the board has narrowed a field of 18 candidates down to three.

The original plan was to hire an interim superintendent while the board looked for a permanent replacement, board President Eric Hirzel said. But he said the plans changed after the board decided that hiring a superintendent at the beginning of a school year would be better than trying to find one at the beginning of a calendar year.

"We thought our talent pool would be the highest right now," Mr. Hirzel said. "We thought a temporary in the system was not the direction that we need to head right now."

He said school board members will interview their top three candidates twice this week and hope to name the district's new leader when they meet next Thursday.

Board members initially received 18 applications for the district's top job.

"Really, there were a lot of impressive applications in there," board vice president Tim Krugh said.

The field was pared to five candidates to be interviewed with help from the community.

Last week, a committee of 11 people interviewed the top five candidates for about 45 minutes each.

On the committee were all five Lake school board members; Mr. Carpenter; elementary school Principal Paul Raczkowski; Bruce Busby vice president of academic services at Owens Community College, and community members Scott Swartz, Christie McPherson, and Brad Deal.

The committee then reached a consensus on three candidates - including one who resigned from an administrative post at Lake a year ago - for the two follow-up interviews with board members and Mr. Carpenter.

The three remaining applicants are:

w● Thomas Baker of Maumee, who had been the superintendent of the Lucas County Educational Services Center from 1978 to 2005, and has more than 40 years of experience in education. He resigned his post amid a scandal over his independent approval of charter school contracts. He later was hired as an educational consultant for a northeast Ohio charter school management company.

w● Tim Scherer of McComb, Ohio, who has been the superintendent of McComb Local Schools for eight years. He has been a school administrator since 1980 and has additional experience in education dating back to 1973.

w● Jim Witt of Lake Township, who has been the athletic director at Northview High School in Sylvania for the past year. Before that, he was the principal of Lake High School for two years. He has 16 years of experience in education.

"All three are just outstanding candidates," Mr. Krugh said. "The issue is trying to sort out which of the three is the best fit for Lake. We need someone who can project a positive public image of all the good things about Lake schools to the entire community and be able to communicate those on a regular basis."cational Services Center from 1978 to 2005, and has more than 40 years of experience in education. He resigned his post amid a scandal over his independent approval of charter school contracts. He later was hired as an educational consultant for a northeast Ohio charter school management company.

w● Tim Scherer of McComb, Ohio, who has been the superintendent of McComb Local Schools for eight years. He has been a school administrator since 1980 and has additional experience in education dating back to 1973.

w● Jim Witt of Lake Township, who has been the athletic director at Northview High School in Sylvania for the past year. Before that, he was the principal of Lake High School for two years. He has 16 years of experience in education.

"All three are just outstanding candidates," Mr. Krugh said. "The issue is trying to sort out which of the three is the best fit for Lake. We need someone who can project a positive public image of all the good things about Lake schools to the entire community and be able to communicate those on a regular basis."

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