EDUCATION Campbell board hires new superintendent

The new superintendent is manager for a company operating charter schools.
CAMPBELL -- The new superintendent for Campbell City Schools says he wants the district to emphasize academic achievement.
"I want to focus on ways to help your children receive the best possible education," veteran school administrator Thomas Robey told about 25 people attending a meeting Wednesday night of the school board at Campbell Memorial High.
"I want to make you even more proud of your schools than you are now."
The board on Wednesday approved Robey's hiring, effective Aug. 1, ending a two-month statewide search that attracted 29 applicants. His contract will extend through July 31, 2008.
Robey, who was hired at an annual salary of $86,085, has been an administrator for White Hat Management, a Toledo-based company that operates Life Skills Centers charter schools since fall 2002.
However, he has more than 15 years of experience as a superintendent in Ohio public schools. He was superintendent at Woodmore Local School District in Sandusky County for 11 years, and has also been superintendent for Claymont Local School District in Dennison and Berlin-Milan Local Schools in Milan.
All are similar districts in size to Campbell, which enrolls about 1,500 pupils. School board president Diane Petruska said that was one of the aspects that made Robey an attractive candidate.
"We liked his experience and his overall enthusiasm," she said. "We also liked his philosophy that every child can succeed in school no matter what their background."
Signing on
Robey, 55, holds both a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in educational administration from Ohio State University, and has done additional course work at Bowling Green State University.
He replaces Campbell native James Ciccolelli, who served as superintendent for 12 years. Ciccolelli's two-year contract was not renewed by the board after the 2003-04 school year.
At Wednesday's meeting, the board also approved an agreement to hire Robey as a consultant for no more than 10 days during the period starting Wednesday and ending July 31.
Ciccolelli officially remains superintendent until his contract expires July 31. He was not at Wednesday's meeting.
High ambitions
The new superintendent said that among his first priorities are the hiring of a middle school principal and an assistant principal at the high school.
He said that raising district pupils' test scores will also be a goal.
"I want to try to help the teachers and their students be more successful," he said. "I've been superintendent in a number of districts and I've worked with a lot of at-risk students. And in this economy, there are always fiscal challenges, too."
Robey said he would be traveling to Campbell from his home in the Toledo area several days a week to get ready for the new school year.
Asked at the meeting whether he intended to reside in Campbell, the new superintendent said he was "just starting the process" of deciding where to live.
"I don't think I'm going to be commuting," he said.
Robey is married with two stepchildren. He also has three grown daughters -- one an elementary school principal and two who are kindergarten teachers.

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