Canfield superintendent finalist faces public session with panel, search firm

By Elise Franco


The Canfield school board may be on the verge of hiring a new superintendent.

Board President Adrianne Sturm said the board received about 50 applications and recently narrowed the field from five candidates to the final two — David Janofa and Alex Geordan.

Janofa, superintendent of the Sandy Valley Local School District in Magnolia, Ohio, withdrew his r sum late Wednesday afternoon. It is unclear why Janofa withdrew, but Sturm said it’s not uncommon.

“These things happen; they’re not unusual occurrences,” she said. “But it was a surprise to us, and we were disappointed.”

Geordan is the superintendent of the Pymatuning Valley School District in Andover, Ohio.

The board will host a public interview at 7 p.m. Tuesday where Geordan will go before a panel composed of members from the Mahoning County Educational Services Center and Finding Leaders, a Cleveland-based firm contracted by MCESC to assist with the search.

The MSESC is paying Finding Leaders $8,000 for the duration of the search, said MSESC Superintendent Ron Iarussi.

The Canfield Board of Education began its search for a new superintendent earlier this year. Dante Zambrini, who holds the position, will retire June 1.

Sturm said the interview, in the Canfield High School cafeteria, is open to the public, and the board encourages parents and students to attend.

“That’s an important part of the process, where the board not only observes the candidate’s interactions with the community, but community members also get the opportunity to ask questions we may not have thought of,” she said.

Geordan was hired as the Pymatuning Valley superintendent in 2008.

Geordan has ties to the Mahoning Valley, beginning his career in 1994 as a teacher in the Warren City School District. He held administrative positions within the district from 1998 to 2001 before moving on to administrative positions in the LaBrae School District in Leavittsburg from 2001 to 2008. He also held several coaching jobs in the Warren and LaBrae school districts, according to his r sum .

Sturm said that after Geordan’s public interview, he’ll go through additional interviews in executive session with the Canfield school board.

“The board has the opportunity at that time to decide if this person is the right fit,” she said. If the board decides to hire Geordan, the district could have a new superintendent by the end of next week, she said. But it’s far from a done deal.

“If we feel it necessary, we could start the search over again, or, if need-be, we could consider hiring an interim,” she said. “You don’t want to rush to these decisions.”

Sturm said the board is looking for a candidate who possesses a variety of qualities.

“They better be child-centered, passionate about education and the school district in which the community resides and certainly very proactive and forward thinking,” she said. “With the financial state of affairs it is a challenge, and I find that the candidates we’ve talked to are wanting to find ways to proceed forward with what we have.”

Sturm said regardless of the outcome, the board will be confident in its choice.

“It really was an exciting process, to be honest with you,” she said. “We were thrilled with the amount of applicants with interest in Canfield schools and very impressed with the qualifications.”

Geordan salary at Pymatuning Valley is $93,636. Zambrini’s salary for the 2011-12 school year is $103,399.

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