Carlisle superintendent seeking retire/rehire also interviewing for Tipp City job

Carlisle’s school superintendent is now a finalist for the same position with the Tipp City school district.

Larry Hook, who has been Carlisle’s superintendent for the past 10 years, was among six candidates who were to be interviewed this week by the Tipp City Exempted Village Schools Board of Education to replace Superintendent Gretta Kimpf who is retiring at the end of July. She has been superintendent since mid-2015.

The Tipp City board had 26 applicants with one already accepting another job. The board met Feb. 25 narrowed the field to seven and scheduled those interviews in executive session for this week. One of the seven finalists bowed out after taking a new position elsewhere.

Hook was the focus of a public hearing last week as residents of the Carlisle school district spoke for and against his request to retire and be rehired as superintendent. Residents were mixed on the proposal as the board members took the public comments. They are planning to make a decision at its meeting on March 23, according to board president William Jewell.

Hook did not respond to several calls and texts for comment about interviewing for the Tipp City job. His executive assistant said he was in contract negotiations Monday with the teacher’s union and spent Tuesday interviewing prospective teachers at the University of Dayton.

Messages for comment were also left for Jewell and board vice president Tammy Lainhart which were not returned.

Hook is completing his five-year contract that expires July 31 and pays him $146,516 per year. He said last week that he would like to stay on for the opening of the district's new $49 million school building serving pre-K through 12th-grade, which is expected at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

Prior to coming to Carlisle, Hook served as Springboro’s assistant school superintendent.

When a public entity allows an employee to retire and be rehired, the employee is rehired at a lesser salary. If the board chooses this option, it would negotiate a new compensation package for Hook.

MORE: Ground is broken on new $49M Carlisle school building

Tipp City’s consultants, K-12 Business Consulting of New Albany, conducted focus groups and a public input session in January to help determine characteristics the community was seeking as part of their superintendent search.

The community said that person would need to be highly visible, accountable, a collaborator with a vision for the district, fiscally responsible and caring about students, according to a report on public input compiled by consultants.The board of education is focused on hiring the most qualified candidate who best fits the needs of the schools as outlined in the superintendent search profile, said Tipp City board president Theresa Dunaway.

MORE: Carlisle schools puts $20M bond issue on May ballot

Several residents felt that it was time for Hook to move on and wanted a change in superintendents before the new building opens, while other residents and former board members praised Hook’s work in the district.

Hook was also praised for guiding the successful 6.2-mill bond issue campaign in 2017 when 67 percent of the voters approved the local funding for the new building, which has been under construction for about 14 months. The state is covering 59 percent of the costs, and the bond issue is covering the rest. District officials said the building project was “on time and on schedule.”

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