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Superintendent praised as he plans to retire

David Janofa intends to leave Poland district on Feb. 1, 2021

POLAND — Emotions ran high during the Poland school board meeting over Superintendent David Janofa’s intent to retire in February.

His letter of resignation for retirement purposes was accepted Monday night.

Community members and colleagues who spoke at the session listed Janofa’s accomplishments, including decisions he’s made during the COVID-19 pandemic, financial decisions leading to an $11 million surplus at the beginning of the academic year, and the district rating among the top of all districts in the state.

Mara Banfield, STEM Superintendent / MCCTC Career Tech director, reminded school board members that there was an “extensive” and “transparent” process to find Janofa in August 2013.

Banfield, asking if there is already an interim superintendent chosen, wonders if that process happened “behind closed doors.”

A special meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Poland Seminary High School auditorium to discuss employment of an interim superintendent, and action is expected, the district said in a meeting notice.

Mike Masucci, principal at Union Elementary, said there is one person for the job: “The individual who possesses the skills needed not only to lead but represent the Poland schools is sitting right here — and his name is David Janofa.”

A handful of people in the audience said they felt that some school board members had worked to get Janofa out of the superintendent’s job.

When no one immediately seconded the motion to accept the retirement letter, people from the audience called out board members — saying that they wanted Janofa out of his role. “Say it,” some said.

The letter announcing his resignation for retirement purposes was accepted with a 4-1 vote.

When board member Larry Dinopoulos voted “no,” those in attendance applauded.

Janofa came to the district in August 2013 when he succeeded Robert Zorn, who retired after more than 40 years with the district.

He was superintendent at Sandy Valley School District in Stark County since 2006 before coming to Poland.

Before serving Sandy Valley, Janofa was both a high school principal and business operations manager at the Marlington Local Schools District in Alliance.

Janofa graduated from Salem High School in 1983.

afox@tribtoday.com

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