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Columbus City Schools to interview five superintendent candidates

COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- Seven minutes into the Columbus School Board’s special session, board members recessed for nearly 3-hours with the goal of narrowing down an initial list of 6 candidates to head the state’s largest school district. 

“We’ve had an interim superintendent since January. Although the process is long it’s incredibly important that we get it right and so the board is committed to doing that,” said Gary Baker, President of the Columbus Board of Education. 

In the end, the big reveal was that all but 1 who applied for district superintendent would move forward. A decision the candidate made himself according to Baker, who said that the candidate withdrew. 

The 5 who still remain are current Columbus City Schools interim superintendent Dr. John Stanford, Cleveland Heights/University Heights City Schools superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon, Fairfax County Schools assistant superintendent Terry Date, Prince George’s County public schools assistant superintendent Ava Tasker-Mitchell and Kansas public schools superintendent Dr. Jayson Strickland. A 2nd go-round for the board after the state auditor determined that their first superintendent search violated Ohio’s open meetings act. 

“We developed a team which includes outside counsel, the educational service center of central Ohio, a great search firm who’s been very supportive as well as a mediator,” said Baker. 

Baker also said the board will conduct first interviews with the 5 remaining candidates next week. After a second round of interviews with finalists, the board hopes to announce the new superintendent in mid-October so they can start on or before January 1, 2019.



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