COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After five years as State Superintendent, and 30 years in government work, Paolo DeMaria announced his retirement in September.
In his four years as Ohio’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, DeMaria said his proudest accomplishment was development of Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s strategic plan for education, according to the Department of Education’s website.
DeMaria has indicated he will continue in service to the state for about another three months, during which time he anticipates continuing to advance several efforts currently in progress – and preparing for the transition to new leadership, according to a media release.
Gove. Mike DeWine thanked DeMaria for his work in a statement.
“Throughout his service in state government, Paolo has been passionate about ensuring that the needs of the whole child are met so that every child can live up to his or her God-given potential,” DeWine said. “Fran and I wish him well in his retirement.”
DeMaria shut down ECOT and taxpayer fraud
The Ohio Education Association said in a statement that OEA and all Ohio taxpayers also owe DeMaria a debt of gratitude for his department’s investigation into the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), which revealed the largest taxpayer fraud in the state’s history. The school eventually shut down in 2018 after DeMaria’s department had revealed ECOT had been paid at least $80 million to educate students the school didn’t actually educate.
“Paolo showed courage taking on ECOT – a school that had long been held unaccountable by policymakers,” OEA President Scott DiMauro said. “Revealing the taxpayer fraud that school perpetrated sent an incredibly important message that continues to resound in Ohio’s education community.”
Family and early years
Born in West Virginia to European parents, DeMaria is the product of the public education systems of Easton, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; Scotch Plains, New Jersey; and Greenville, South Carolina. His children attended the public schools of Columbus and the Graham School, a public charter school, according to the education department’s website.
DeMaria earned his Bachelor of Arts from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and a Master of Public Administration from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs.