Lakewood OH

Deitsch: Board changes reduced my effectiveness

By Kevin Kelley

Fairview Park

Why did Brion Deitsch decide in November to retire as Fairview Park City Schools superintendent?

At the time, Deitsch said he planned to move to

Florida to be closer to his daughter and her family, who live in Georgia.

Then last week, Deitsch confirmed he’s agreed to take the post of chief operating officer at the rapidly growing Dublin City Schools.

Deitsch said a major reason he decided to step down as Fairview Park superintendent was that he believed he was becoming a less than effective leader.

The reason for that, he said, was a change in dynamics on the board of education caused by the resignations of

two prominent members – Dennis Rehor and Brad Lamb – in 2012.

“The personality of the board changed,” Deitsch said.

Asked what issues were the source of contention, Deitsch said governance.

“It wasn’t just one issue,” he said.

One issue that appeared to be a point of dispute was a renovation program at Fairview High School. Deitsch said he and former Treasurer Ryan Ghizzoni, who left in 2013, advocated for a renovation program for two years, but the board responded with reluctance.

“I just felt like I was losing my effectiveness,” Deitsch told West Life.

School board President Joe Shucofsky said the high school renovation project remains a top priority with the district. The board is reviewing its options on what is a large-scale project, he said. The board also submitted an application to the Ohio School Facilities Commission for a no-cost, comprehensive building analysis and will proceed once that information has been received, Shucofsky said.

“This approach will allow us to make a more informed and cost-effective decision regarding building updates, renovations, etc.,” Shucofsky said.

Some in the community have suggested that Shucofsky shoulders at least some responsibility for the departures of Deitsch and Ghizzoni, as well as board member Tim Meseros, who resigned in early 2014. At a June 16 school board meeting, two public calls for Shucofsky’s resignation were met with some applause.

Shucofsky declined to directly address the suggestion he bears any responsibility for the resignations of Deitsch, Ghizzoni or Meseros.

“It would be inappropriate for the board or myself to comment on personnel issues and to discuss reasons for staff members who seek other employment opportunities,” Shucofsky told West Life.

Shucofsky said the board’s focus is on finding a superintendent after the hiring of Geoffrey Andrews fell through.

“Superintendent Deitsch has done some wonderful things in Fairview during his nine-year tenure and we were very fortunate to have him,” Shucofsky said. “We wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”




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