Columbus Superintendent candidates meet the parents

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On the first of a three-day district tour for the 3 finalists vying for Columbus Schools Superintendent, former Columbus Schools Principal and current Cleveland Heights/University Heights superintendent Dr. Talissa Dixon answered questions asked by parents like James Ragland.

“I’m very happy for the district for allowing us to have the opportunity to speak to all 3 candidates,” said Ragland. 

Ragland is the father of a Columbus Schools grad and a Columbus Eastmore 11th grader. 

Hope McGonigle has a 4th and 7th grader in the district. 

“I Think it’s important that families have some sort of input even though it’s not voting input,” said McGonigle. 

To each one, the questions are as important as the opportunity to ask them.

“I wanted to find out what Doctor Dixon’s grasp of leadership in a large scale district with multiple political and cultural challenges was,” asked Ragland. 

Columbus School Board President Gary Baker says all the parents who attend 1 of the 3 sessions are a critical part of the process and consideration in its final outcome. 

“Community input is very important to the decision-making process,” said Baker. 

For Dr. Dixon that means feedback from McGonigle and Ragland will help determine if she gets the job or not. 

As for Ragland? 

He was satisfied with Dixon’s knowledge of curriculum but not the rest of her response to what he asked. 

“I feel like her understanding tax incentives at city hall impact directly the funding for Columbus City Schools probably needs to be a bit more firm,” said Ragland. 

Dixon spent the first part of the day touring the district, meeting with teachers and students. The other two candidates will do the same over the next two nights. 

The school board says they hope to announce their decision in October so the new Superintendent can begin on or before January 1, 2019. 

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