By Kevin Kelley
The public will have a chance to hear directly tonight from the man said to be the top candidate for the Westlake superintendent’s job.
Jeffrey Graham, now the superintendent of the Parma City Schools, will give a presentation during tonight’s Board of Education meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the rotunda of Westlake High School, 27830 Hilliard Blvd.
In a Friday press release, the school board said Graham emerged as the top candidate from a field of four finalists. The other three finalists were Westlake High School Principal Tim Freeman; George Fisk, of the East Palestine City Schools; and James Kallis, of the Riverside Local Schools. The district received 25 applications in all.
On Monday, school board President Carol Winter told West Life that no contract has yet been offered to Graham.
On Wednesday morning, Graham will meet with representative groups of teachers, administrators, parents and community members. Board members say they plan to consider the opinions of these groups.
Graham was appointed superintendent of the Parma City Schools in 2010. In May 2011, the Parma district passed a 6.9-mill operating levy. The previous seven levy attempts failed. Six of those attempts came before Graham’s arrival. The Parma district also passed a 3.7-mill renewal in May. That success at passing a levy may have carried weight with Westlake board members as the district’s two most recent operating levy attempts failed.
According to the district press release, Graham also implemented STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs and redesigned the special education program while leading the Parma district. Graham also introduced a new student technology plan and expanded the Parma district’s world language program.
Graham earned his undergraduate degree in education from Kent State University. The former Marine holds a graduate degree in secondary education from the University of Akron and a doctorate in educational leadership with a concentration in the superintendency from Ashland University.