Poland school board hopes to name superintendent by April

By Ashley Luthern



The search for the new superintendent of Poland schools will begin in earnest next month, and the school board plans to offer a candidate the job by April.

The board considered using search firms from the Ohio School Boards Association and Finding Leaders, which would have cost between $8,000 and $10,000, but decided to use Mahoning County Educational Services Center, said interim Superintendent Don Dailey.

“This will be part of our normal service agreement [with the county], and no additional payment will be made,” Dailey said.

Poland has a contract with MCESC for supervisory services, as required by Ohio law for districts with less than 16,000 students. The roughly $53,000 contract is calculated using state standards and entitles Poland to two curriculum supervisors assigned to the district and other services, including assistance in personnel searches, said Ron Iarussi, MCESC superintendent.

Poland school board president Dr. Larry Dinopoulos said the board unanimously felt that the MCESC was a good fit.

“We feel that with the passage of the levy, Poland being an ‘excellent with distinction’ school district and having great kids and staff, this should be an attractive position, and we should get a good pool of candidates,” Dinopoulos wrote in an email.

Iarussi said the center can provide a variety of services, from advertising the post statewide to helping with interviews.

Board vice president Richard Weaver said a tentative hiring time line will be detailed at the Dec. 17 board meeting. The process includes focus groups with parents, residents, teachers and students.

“The board will choose and try to get a cross-section of representation from academics, athletics, parents and teachers. There will be at least one student representative,” he said.

A starting salary for the new superintendent has not been determined. In the past, school-board members have said it likely would fall between $80,000 to $100,000.

“If we want to be competitive and attract someone, $100,000 might be the minimum. I don’t know for sure,” Weaver said.

He said the initial contract is expected to be for three years.

“We’ve talked about keeping all options open, everything from somebody who is not experienced as superintendent all the way up to another retire-rehire. We are open to the whole gamut,” Weaver said.

Dailey, former Boardman superintendent, is serving as Poland’s interim superintendent from Sept. 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.

Dailey said he has no interest in becoming the permanent Poland superintendent. His one-year contract called for an annual salary $76,875 and no health- insurance benefits.

Before Dailey, Robert Zorn served as superintendent for 37 years until his retirement this year.

Zorn’s annual salary this year was $75,831. He retired as superintendent in 2006, when he earned about $96,000 during the 2005-06 school year and was then rehired at $66,000.

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