By Kevin Kelley
The Fairview Park City Schools did not have a booth at Summerfest as it had in previous years.
Bill Minek, the Ward 2 Councilman and chair of Summerfest’s booth committee, said the school district paid $125 to reserve space but withdrew June 17. That’s the day after board President Joe Shucofsky announced its newly hired superintendent, Geoffrey Andrews, would not become the district’s leader as planned on Aug. 1. Shucofsky said Andrews had not been forthcoming with the board regarding his departure from his job as director of the Western Academy of Beijing. The district intends to hire an interim superintendent by Aug. 1.
The $125 the district paid Summerfest organizers was refunded, Minek told West Life.
Leah Nemeth, the district’s director of communications, said she made the decision to cancel the booth at Summerfest. She acknowledged the main reason was the vacancy in the superintendent position.
“We did not have a top administrator to man the booth,” Nemeth told West Life.
Nemeth said the district’s intention had been to introduce its new superintendent to the community at its Summerfest booth. But with Andrews no longer a part of the district’s future, that was no longer an option, she said.
Brion Deitsch’s last day as superintendent was Friday. Deitsch, who announced his decision to retire back in November, plans to take an administrative job with the Dublin City Schools.
Nemeth, who joined the district last fall, also said she wanted to learn about Summerfest and consider whether the district’s presence at the annual event should be more student-focused.
“From a marketing perspective, I think we can do a better job than we have in the past,” Nemeth told West Life.
At previous Summerfests, Deitsch and other administrators chatted with parents and other community members. School supply lists and athletic team schedules for the fall were also handed out at the district’s booth.
The lack of a booth did not mean the district did not have a presence at Summerfest this year. Several athletic booster groups associated with the district’s teams had booths, as did student groups, such as the 2015 after-prom committee. The Fairview High School marching band and drill team marched in Friday’s Summerfest parade, as did board of education members, including the board president.