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The Press Newspaper

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The Oregon School Board last Tuesday picked six of 16 candidates to interview for the superintendent’s position.

A nine member screening committee will conduct interviews later this month, according to School Board Member Jeff Ziviski, who is one of four school board members on the committee.

The board gave considerable weight to local applicants, a quality that was given a high priority at a public forum that was recently held, said Ziviski.

“We want someone that is known to Oregon – who is either currently in the district, or has worked in the district at some point in their career,” he said.

The six candidates chosen for interviews are:
• Amy Klinger, currently principal of Northwood Middle School, previously worked in the Oregon City Schools District;
• Michael Zalar, principal of Clay High School;
• James Gunner, superintendent of the Bryan City Schools District, recently hired as the superintendent of the Perkins Local Schools District, effective in August. Gunner, a Clay High School graduate, was a teacher and coach at Eisenhower Middle School;
• Richard Heintschel, interim superintendent of Fostoria City Schools; Heintschel was a  principal of Clay High School;
• Lonny Rivera, principal of Coy Elementary School;
• Sandra Ellis, superintendent of the North Chicago CUSD, was previously a teacher, guidance counselor and assistant principal in the Oregon City Schools District.
School Board President Eric Heintschel recused himself from voting because his father, Richard Heintschel, is among the candidates.

“I’m staying out of it completely until my dad is either eliminated or hired,” Heintschel told The Press last week. “I’m staying out of the whole process.”

Heintschel sought a legal opinion on possible ethical issues regarding his role in interviewing candidates and conflicts of interest should his dad be hired as superintendent.

“We looked at it as a board when we saw he was applying,” said Heintschel. “I decided it would be in my best interest to stay out of the interview process.”

Also Tuesday, the board agreed to add more members to the screening committee, which had previously consisted of four board members.

One representative each from the Oregon Federation of Teachers and the Ohio Association of Public
Schools Employees (OAPSE) union, assistant superintendents Jim Kanable and John Gilliland, and Treasurer Jane Fruth have joined the committee.

“The committee will sit in on interviews, then provide feedback to the board, because it’s still the board’s responsibility and decision to hire the superintendent,” said Ziviski.

Interviews are scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Other candidates who applied include Bernadette Pachmayer, superintendent of Riverside Local Schools, John Fernbaugh, building administrator at Victory Academy, Deborah Piotrowski, superintendent of Millcreek West Unity, Gregory McFann, director of Academic Services at Clark County ESC, Al Haschak, director of business/assistant superintendent of Mt. Vernon City, Rodney Jenkins, high school principal in the Beaufort County School District, Glenda Hathaway, deputy chief of recruitment, Cleveland Metropolitan Schools, Scott Winckowski, an attorney, Christopher Lewis, director of grants at the Cuyahoga County ESC, and Rebecca Honaker, elementary school principal in the Georgetown Exempted Village Schools District.

The Oregon School board earlier this month accepted the resignation of Superintendent John C. Hall, effective June 13. Hall had previously accepted the superintendent’s position in the Barberton Schools District.

John Gilliland, assistant superintendent of business affairs and operations, was named interim superintendent.

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