Middletown Schools leader finalist for Cincinnati superintendent’s job

The leader of Middletown Schools is a finalist for the top job at Cincinnati Public Schools.

Marlon Styles Jr., who has led the 6,300-student Middletown Schools since being hired as superintendent in 2017, is a finalist for the superintendent’s job for the 36,000-student Cincinnati school system — the third largest district in Ohio.

Middletown school officials confirmed Styles candidacy for the job.

Styles, who is one of three finalists, declined to comment.

Middletown Schools Spokeswoman Elizabeth Beadle said of Styles: “Mr. Styles’s work in Middletown reflects his passion for opportunities for all students and the importance of strong partnerships between schools and the communities they serve.”

“No matter the outcome, Mr. Styles will always be a Middie.

Styles, whose contract pays an annual salary of $175,000, has two years remaining on his employment agreement with the Middletown school board.

The 43-year-old former principal of Mount Healthy Schools in Hamilton County was the first African American in Middletown Schools’ history to hold the superintendent’s job on a non-interim basis.

Prior to landing the Middletown job in 2017, Styles was the executive director of curriculum and instruction for Lakota Schools, which is the ninth largest district in Ohio.

Since his arrival in 2017, Styles has initiated a number of sweeping educational reforms in what has traditionally been one of the region’s lowest academic performing districts.

Styles has been heralded by some national education organizations for his efforts in incorporating learning technology into the city’s schools and modernizing classroom instruction.

And he has championed in regional, state and national forums - including testimony before a Congressional committee - the importance of closing the “digital divide” separating students from low-income families from others in their lack of access to at-home digital learning and the importance of all students having computer laptops.

He is one of three finalists for the Cincinnati Public Schools job to oversee the 65 schools that comprise that city’s school system.

Also competing for the job are Tianay Amat, Cincinnati Schools’ deputy superintendent and currently its interim leader and Iranetta Wright, deputy superintendent for the Detroit Public Schools.

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