By Jeff Gallatin
North Olmsted school district officials have narrowed the field for the interim superintendent’s job to two retired superintendents with experience in Northeast Ohio.
Members of the school board spent several hours in a special Saturday meeting interviewing Terry Krivak, who served as superintendent of the Berea School District, and William Martin, who was superintendent of the Bellevue City School District and director of pupil services for the Strongsville City School District. One of the two is expected to be selected later this month as interim superintendent while the district searches for a permanent replacement for Cheryl Dubsky, who is retiring as superintendent at the beginning of August.
School board President Tom Herbster said after the meeting, the bulk of which was spent in executive session, that the board won’t wait long to make a decision on which candidate to select.
“I would expect us to take a vote and decide on it at the regular June school board meeting (scheduled for June 20),” Herbster said. “Right now, we’re doing background checks and gathering additional information which will help us make the final decision.”
Herbster said having the interim superintendent’s employment time overlap with Dubsky’s final weeks would aid the district.
“It would allow that person to get the benefit of Dr. Dubsky’s experience and see how things have been done while she’s still here,” Herbster said.
School board member John Lasko said both of the finalists’ experience as superintendents is an advantage.
“We want someone who can hit the ground running,” Lasko said. “With all that is going on in Columbus right now pertaining to education, it will be good to have someone with experience in dealing with it and running a school district.”
Board member Terry Groden, who has been one of the leaders who helped put together two area education roundtables in the last year on issues affecting Northeast Ohio school districts, also likes the local connections.
“Having someone familiar with the issues which affect districts in our area is a good move,” Groden said. “Both of them have the experience and knowledge to keep the district running smoothly while we look for a long-term replacement, which we are committed to doing.”
Lasko said having an already experienced superintendent will be a major plus while the district finds a permanent replacement for Dubsky, who, as associate superintendent and superintendent, has led the district to rankings of “Excellent” or “Excellent With Distinction” the last six years in the annual report card issued by the state department of education at the beginning of each school year.
“There are a lot of issues affecting districts every day,” said Lasko, who has long been an advocate of strong academic and curriculum programs. “As I said when Dr. Dubsky announced her plans, no one can fill her shoes exactly, but we can find people who can run a district and make sure it and our programs continue to run smoothly and progress.”
Herbster said even with having two experienced superintendents as finalists for the interim post, the district will conduct a nationwide search for the permanent job.
“That’s the best way to find the right person for the job,” he said. “We want someone who will keep our excellence going. It will help that we have someone experienced running the district while we do that.”
Herbster said he didn’t expect either interim finalist to be a candidate for the permanent job. He said the salary would be determined after the district goes through all the information and related data.
Neither Krivak or Martin could be reached for comment in time for this edition.