State school board could hire Springboro’s Hook as Ohio superintendent Monday

Resolution will be presented for vote, but board president McGuire wants more deliberate process.

The State Board of Education will consider a resolution to appoint Springboro Superintendent Larry Hook as the next state superintendent of public instruction at their meeting on Monday.

The proposed resolution says Hook will serve at the pleasure of the Board as an “at will” employee and will receive an annual salary of $250,000 with an option of a car allowance of $550 per month or the use of a state vehicle.

Hook was one of the three finalists for the state superintendent position last month and received some support from the board. Steve Dackin was ultimately voted in as state superintendent by the state board, but he abruptly resigned last week.

Charlotte McGuire, the Ohio Board of Education president, said the board will consider the resolution on Hook, but she said she would not vote for the resolution.

McGuire, who is from Washington Twp., said she would prefer the committee meet in July and decide as a board if they would like to reopen the hiring process for state superintendent, ask current interim state superintendent Stephanie Siddens to apply for the job, or reconsider the two final candidates: Hook and Thomas Hosler, superintendent of Perrysburg schools in suburban Toledo. McGuire noted that Dackin chose Siddens as his deputy.

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“I have been very adamant that our board — how should I put this — as representatives of the citizens of Ohio, own the process, and then we work and discover positive change going forward for the sake of Ohio’s future,” McGuire said.

The Ohio Board of Education meets beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, with the meeting continuing into Tuesday. Materials are available on the state board website at The Ohio Channel will stream the meeting.

Hook told the Dayton Daily News on Wednesday that he is still interested in the position, but “I don’t know what the future is. Time is of the essence and I’ve never left a district in a bad way. I love Springboro and I will do the best job I can. Right now we’re getting ready for next year to make it the best year ever for the district.”

Hook said it was very humbling to be included in the group of people who were finalists for the position overseeing the education of 1.7 million pupils statewide.

“The only reason I applied for the job is that I believe I can help kids in Ohio,” Hook said. “ODE (the Ohio Department of Education) has an opportunity to take the lead to get kids back on track after dealing with COVID for the past two years. We’ve lost ground and this has to be a priority.

“The learning loss is huge and cannot be acceptable, and it’s definitely not acceptable for me. It humbles me because kids need us more than ever before, and we have to pull out the stops. I wouldn’t have considered it if I couldn’t make a difference,” he said. “This is too, too critical for kids who have gone through hell the past two years.”

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Hook said he was proud of what educators did in Springboro and Warren County by keeping schools open in 2020-21 despite heavy pressure to shut down.

“I was thankful to work with the other (Warren County) superintendents who think the same way and are child-focused,” he said. “Kids don’t grow socially, emotionally or academically if they are not in school.”

Dackin, meanwhile, has given few details about why he decided to resign.

In a letter last week, he referenced controversy over the fact that during the early days of Ohio’s recent search for a state superintendent, Dackin had been the leader of the search process. He then resigned from the state school board and declared his candidacy for the job. After going through interviews, he was chosen as state superintendent in a 14-4 vote by the state board of education on May 10.

“Concerns have been raised about my recent acceptance of the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction,” Dackin wrote in his resignation. “I don’t want ‘revolving door’ questions to distract from the important work ahead for schools, educators, and especially children.”

He wrote that he hopes “the department can get on with building the educational future for the children of Ohio.”

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