By Jeff Gallatin
School board officials have decided to seek an interim superintendent while the district seeks a permanent replacement for retiring Superintendent Cheryl Dubsky.
“We thought at this point in the year it would be better to have someone come in and run things while we seek the best person possible for this,” school board President Tom Herbster said after a board executive session May 16. “We don’t think it’s best to try and find a permanent replacement in so short a time, so we’re looking for someone to come in on an interim basis and handle the work for a year, maybe less if we can get someone quicker who we believe is qualified.”
Dubsky announced several weeks ago that she would be retiring at the beginning of August, saying now is a good time for her to leave, and saying she believes she is leaving the district in the best shape possible. Under Dubsky’s leadership as both associate superintendent for educational programs and superintendent, the district has been ranked either “Excellent” or “Excellent With Distinction” for the last six years in the annual report card issued by the state of Ohio at the beginning of each school year. The district also is in the second year since the last operating levy passed.
Herbster said the interim superintendent can come from either inside or outside the district. Current Associate Superintendent Anne Pyros told Westlife last week that she does not plan to pursue either the interim or permanent position at this time. She emphasized that she will continue to work on improving the district.
“I plan to continue working to increase the achievement of all students,” Pyros said. “I am proud of the academic strides we have made. We are working diligently with students, staff, and parents and the community to ensure the success of all our students.”
Pyros said she appreciated the board of education’s consideration and that she is very proud to serve in the North Olmsted City Schools.
Herbster said he appreciated the opportunity to talk with Pyros recently.
“We’ll look and see if there are any other potential internal candidates who are qualified, and then we’ll look at the outside candidates for the interim post as well,” he said.
Herbster said in addition to helping with the search for a full-time superintendent, the board will utilize Jack Marsak’s education consulting firm to help look for an interim person.
“We’re probably looking at someone who is retired but has experience running a district who can step in for a year or so,” he said.
Herbster didn’t rule out retaining the interim pick, but said he doesn’t consider it a strong possibility.
“Most of those type of candidates are retired and don’t want to return to anything on a long-term basis,” he said.
He said having an interim superintendent will allow the district to conduct the best possible search for a permanent candidate.
“We’re still on a nationwide search for someone who can help maintain the quality district we have here,” he said. “It could be someone from around northern Ohio, or it still could be someone from elsewhere in the country. We’ve had success with both in the last few selections we’ve had to make.”
Herbster said the district will get the interim superintendent in place as quickly as possible.
“This is a busy time of year for a school district, but we’ll act as quickly as we can,” he said.