The Oregon school board, as of Monday, received six resumes for the position of superintendent of the Oregon City Schools district. The deadline to submit an application was Friday, June 7.
Just days before the deadline, there were no candidates within the district who submitted applications for the position. The position has been posted on the Ohio School Boards Association’s web site.
Board member Jeff Ziviski said he expects a total of about 12 resumes to be submitted by the deadline.
The incoming superintendent will replace Dr. Mike Zalar, who recently announced his resignation to take the superintendent’s position in the N. Olmstead city school district. He has been superintendent in Oregon since 2008 and was principal of Clay High School for five years prior to that.
Zalar will remain in the Oregon district until Aug. 31.
A sparsely attended community forum was held Monday at Clay High School to give the public the opportunity to provide input to the board on what qualities they would like to see in a new superintendent.
“I think everyone has their own opinion on what they are looking for in a superintendent, and we also want to hear what the community is looking for in their next leader for the schools,” Board President P.J. Kapfhammer said at the forum. “Tonight is the first official step in the search for the superintendent.”
Kapfhammer said a superintendent should be someone who “leads by example,” and who “constantly works to improve the district.”
“It’s not enough to just sit there and be happy with your results every year. You have to implement change and be willing to work to bring about those changes, and sell the community and staff on why you’re doing those changes,” said Kapfhammer.
Board member Carol Molnar said a superintendent has to be aware of state law, how it changes, ensures that the district is implementing those changes, and assigns people to keep track of them.
A week from Thursday, the board will review the resumes and narrow the field of qualified candidates for interviews, planned for the following week, according to Ziviski.
“If we want second interviews, or if we want to do another community forum with the applicants, there are other options open,” said Ziviski.
“The problem we’re going to fall into is that most administrators lock in their contracts at the beginning of July in the districts they’re in now,” said Kapfhammer. “So if we didn’t move real quickly, we wouldn’t have anything to choose from because they would be locked in for the next year. We don’t want to see this district go without.”
Kapfhammer said a new superintendent must address the important issues facing the district, such as reconfiguration and iPad transition in junior high.
“We want a leader driving that ship,” he said.
A woman in the audience asked what the annual salary would be for the new superintendent.
“Like in most jobs, we have a salary range. We have a schedule based on years of experience that we follow,” said Ziviski. The range, he said, is from $115,000 to $135,000.
Area districts, such as Sylvania and Perrysburg, pay superintendents a top salary of $135,000, according to Ziviski. Zalar’s yearly salary is $119,000.
“We’re a good district, a great place for someone to move up and take care of things and move on,” said Ziviski. “We’re a stepping stone district for some. But we don’t have to be that for whom we select. We can select someone who we think will be around for a while.”
Superintendents usually resign their posts after serving just five or six years, said Ziviski.
“And when they move on, they usually move up,” said Kapfhammer.
He expressed disappointment that so few showed up at the forum.
“I wish there were 300 to 400 people here. I thank you for coming out, but it’s disappointing. There’s only six people in here besides employees. It’s almost heartbreaking that when you do have a shot to define your next leader, no one comes forward and says anything. We do work for the community. But if we don’t hear from anyone, it’s hard to follow what the community wants and needs. Of course, we want to be transparent. But more importantly, I wanted to hear from the community because the people who have kids in the schools have the most to lose or gain.”
Kapfhammer said the search will be a “well thought out process.”
“Hopefully, we’ll bring back a home run for you guys, someone you will be excited to see in the district,” he said.