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Published: Wednesday, 7/27/2005

Swanton: Interim school chief 'good fit'


With an interim superintendent in place, Swanton school board members likely will hold off for awhile on the search for a permanent replacement for Robin Rayfield.

Neil Weber, a former administrator here, begins his duties Monday. Swanton's school board last week hired Mr. Weber, who will serve as interim superintendent for up to a year.

School board members conducted some interviews for a permanent superintendent, but "nothing really worked out," said Bill Green, board president. Because officials were "kind of behind the eight ball" as a result of the timing of Superintendent Rayfield's resignation, the board was interested in hiring an interim superintendent, Mr. Green said. "We decided we needed to get someone in place," he said, and Mr. Weber was interested in the interim post.

After one year on the job, Superintendent Rayfield resigned in late June. He has been hired as superintendent of the Pike-Delta-York district, where he has served as an administrator and school board member.

Mr. Green said he does not anticipate that the Swanton board would immediately go back and start the interview process for a permanent superintendent, but he said that the board would consider a permanent replacement "if something comes along." He said that Mr. Rayfield, who begins his duties as PDY superintendent Monday, agreed to help out during the transition process.

Hiring Mr. Weber as an interim superintendent is a "good fit," said Mr. Green. "He knows us, and we know him," he said. Mr. Weber will be paid $325 per day.

Mr. Weber, of Wauseon, said he is looking forward to returning to Swanton, where he was interim superintendent in 1999 and Swanton High School principal from 2001 to 2004. He retired in early 1999 as superintendent of Wauseon schools. "I like Swanton. I like the people there. The community has treated me very well," he said.

This week he plans to meet with Mr. Rayfield in Swanton as part of the transition. Mr. Weber doesn't plan to go in and make a lot of changes. Rather, he said, "I plan to go in and see what needs to be done and try to get it done."

Although his title is interim superintendent, he'll devote his time and energies to the job as though he were there as a permanent superintendent. "I will try to not just fill in. I will be someone who will spend the time to get the full job done."

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