The new superintendent will be paid $95,000.
By AMANDA DAVIS
and STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- The superintendent of Girard schools will take the helm of Trumbull County Educational Service Center.
The center's governing board named Dr. Anthony D'Ambrosio on Monday to replace Elizabeth Ross, who stepped down May 31.
D'Ambrosio served as superintendent of Newton Falls and Southington school districts before taking over in Girard in 1989. He also held administrative positions in Lordstown and Youngstown, and spent two years teaching math in Youngstown's Princeton Junior High School.
D'Ambrosio holds a doctorate in education from Youngstown State University.
"We liked some of his ideas. We liked what he did in Girard," said Gil Rieger, president of the center's governing board. "The superintendent of the educational service center is really the educational leader in the county and we feel he can help us move forward."
His ideas: The educational service center develops curricula and coordinates services for handicapped students. Some of D'Ambrosio's ideas were to create greater online resources for teachers and students and to develop an academy for school administrators.
"If you are going to be a player in the area of making an impact in the children's lives, administration is where you want to be," he said.
D'Ambrosio, who will earn $95,000 each year of his two-year contract, said that he will miss the student contact of being a district superintendent, but that his new position will allow him to make a difference over a broader area.
"We are not looking to make any drastic changes to schools, but that is not our realm," he said. "We are just there to help."
Criticism: While credited by the educational service center board for improving the quality of Girard Schools during his 13-year tenure there, in recent months he has been criticized for not bringing the problem of illnesses at Girard Intermediate School to the public in a timely manner.
That building closed May 1 after pupils, teachers and staff complained of itchy and burning eyes, vomiting and rashes, among other symptoms. Parents say they were not notified of the problem until March, although school officials had been working since October to determine the cause.
The problem was eventually attributed to inadequate ventilation and fungi found in water-damaged carpet.
Ross is taking a job as Gov. Bob Taft's executive assistant for education, working on education issues, proficiency test policy, school funding and teacher recruitment.
Ross worked at the educational service center for 27 years, the past 71/2 as superintendent.
Since Ross announced her departure, D. Wayne McClain, the center's associate superintendent, has been acting as interim superintendent. D'Ambrosio will start the job Aug. 1.