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SALEM SCHOOLS Interviews to begin for superintendent



Published: Sat, February 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Three Valley educators are among the finalists.

SALEM -- Salem city school leaders will begin interviews today for the position of superintendent.

There are nine finalists. Six will interview today: Dr. Sandra Dibacco-Tusinac, superintendent at Struthers; Kevin Turner, superintendent of Ashtabula Area Schools; Dr. Stella C. Batagiannis, superintendent in West LaFayette, Ind.; James Fetzer, superintendent of Sherwood, Ohio, schools; Walter Calinger, superintendent of Norton schools; and Jeffrey N. Layton, superintendent of Hardin-Houston schools in Ohio.

The board resumes interviews Wednesday with Robert Mehno, Dennis Niederhiser and Steven M. Larcomb.

Mehno is principal at Carrollton School near Minerva, and Niederhiser is principal at Buckeye Elementary in Salem. Larcomb is superintendent at Freemont City, Wyo.

Superintendent Dr. David Brobeck will retire in July.

One candidate

Dibacco-Tusinac comes into the interview process under a shroud of scrutiny. She is being investigated by the Ohio Department of Education for misrepresenting that one of her teachers held two permanent teaching certificates.

& quot;She's not been found guilty, & quot; Elizabeth Thatcher, vice president of the Salem school board, said. "You're innocent until you're proven guilty. We won't make a judgment on that right now. & quot;

Dibacco-Tusinac will go before an ODE hearing within the next couple of weeks. The respective hearing officer will then make a recommendation as to what action the ODE should follow. She faces the possibility of losing her superintendent, high school principal and teaching certificates.

Looking for what?

What is the board looking for in a new superintendent?

& quot;Someone with integrity and a good financial background, & quot; Thatcher said. & quot;They have to have good PR skills and knows the curriculum. & quot;

The board received 24 applications.

Thatcher said the board would try to whittle this list of nine to three and follow up with second interviews. She said she hoped a new superintendent would be in named by & quot;the end of March. & quot;

& quot;If we don't find one by then, we'll start the process all over again, & quot; she said. & quot;We'll interview very carefully. & quot;




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