Lakota Local Schools ‘slow down the process’ for superintendent hiring

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

After a series of private executive session meetings in recent weeks, the Local Local Schools board is backing off its plans to hire a new superintendent and will instead seek to fill the top job with another interim leader.

The Lakota Board of Education announced Monday its new plans to “slow down the process.”

The board had narrowed the finalists down to three candidates and last Friday conducted an hours-long executive session meeting, as allowed under Ohio law when it pertains to hiring new school employees, but emerged from their private discussions with no final pick among the applicants.

“While our three finalists all have varied skills that would benefit Lakota, the board believes that our search must continue to ensure that we have the best person for our district,” wrote Board President Lynda O’Connor in an announcement sent to school families.

“As such, we have decided to slow down the process and begin interviewing candidates to temporarily lead the district as an interim superintendent.”

Lakota is currently led by Interim Superintendent Robb Voglemann but he has told the board he has no interest in continuing to be employed in that role in the upcoming school year and wants to return to his previous position of assistant superintendent.

Lakota officials have been on a fast track to find and hire a new superintendent since former Lakota Superintendent Matt Miller unexpectedly announced his resignation in January.

Traditionally, the solicitation and sometimes lengthy interview process for new public school superintendents often sees those hires finished by early spring for the following school year.

In recent weeks, Lakota’s board saw member Darbi Boddy complain at one point that she was being “muzzled” in the process and removed herself at that time from participating in some portions of candidate evaluations and questioning.

Other board members did not respond to a request Monday to comment further beyond O’Connor’s released statement.

O’Connor, however, told the Journal-News “It’s important for our students and our families that we get this right. We’ll keep everyone in the loop as we move forward.”

For the first time Lakota officials used a wider variety of new ways to involve school families, residents and school staffers in the superintendent evaluation process.

“In addition to our interview process, we have also reviewed the feedback we received from you through our initial survey, focus groups and meet the candidates night. The board believes that your input is an important part of our decision-making process,” said O’Connor.

“This coming week, in addition to discussions regarding the appointment of an interim superintendent, the board will also determine the next steps we will take in the search process.”

“Thank you for your patience as we continue to search for the best person to lead Lakota,” she told Lakota’s school community.

The board’s next scheduled public meeting is July 17.

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