Lakota district residents asked to take survey about superintendent search

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Southwest Ohio’s largest suburban school system’s is looking for a new leader and the district has been asking residents and others what qualities they should be seeking.

An online survey is now available through noon Friday at the 17,200-student Lakota Local Schools’ website seeking the input of West Chester and Liberty township residents about what they would like to see as the governing school board searches for a new superintendent.

Lynda O’Connor, president of the Lakota Board of Education, noted in a recent statement about the survey that the board wants to be attuned with community members about the type of new leader they want.

“This is a first step in engaging our community in the superintendent search process,” said O’Connor.

“Our taxpayers have made a significant investment in our schools by choosing to live in West Chester and Liberty townships and we want to make sure we gather their feedback, along with our parents, staff, students and broader community,” she said.

Since February, Butler County’s largest school system has seen two district leaders move on from the job.

In January Matt Miller, who had held the superintendent’s position since 2017, announced his resignation to take on a new position with the Butler County Educational Services Center (BCESC).

ExploreLetter from Lakota superintendent says resignation due to ‘hostile work environment’ caused by board member

And earlier this month, the interim replacement superintendent Robb Vogelmann – who was the former assistant superintendent appointed by the board to temporarily replace Miller – announced he will not be a candidate for the job.

Vogelmann has held the position of interim superintendent since Feb. 1 and said he intends to continue leading until the role has been filled, which board members said they hope will be done “by the start of the next school year or Jan. 1, 2024 at the latest.”

ExploreLakota interim superintendent doesn’t want permanent job

Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for Lakota, said there is “no timeline yet” for the board’s process for soliciting and interviewing candidates for superintendent.

The community survey “is just a first step in the process,” said Fuller.

Under Ohio law, publicly elected school board members hire superintendents and district treasurers by a board majority vote.

Lakota’s survey asks respondents to note whether they are school parents or grandparents or guardians, residents, school employees, business owners, residents without children attending Lakota and whether they are a Lakota student.

Respondents are also asked to rate the importance of certain skill sets and priorities as well as share what questions they believe should be asked by board members during the interview process.

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