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Major Changes In Store for Columbus City Schools

Grant Walters Grant Walters Major Changes In Store for Columbus City Schools
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Just weeks after announcing its new choice for superintendent, CCS may decide who will fill its vacant Board of Education position on Tuesday.

The last quarter of 2018 is shaping up to be an active, and potentially transformative, period for Columbus City Schools.

This week, CCS is aiming to conclude its brief search for the vacant Board of Education seat vacated by former member Dominic Paretti, who resigned amid accusations of sexual harassment on Sept. 21.

According to its website, CCS by-laws require “(1) the Board to seek qualified and interested candidates from the community to fill the vacancy and (2) applicants to submit a notice of their interest, in writing, to the Treasurer.” 

As of the 5 p.m. deadline on September 28, 55 candidates had submitted their applications. A full list of the applicants and their submissions can be found here.

A Board of Education Special Meeting was set for Sunday, Sept. 30. Jacqueline D. Bryant, Communications Manager of CCS’ Office of Communications & Media Relations confirmed via email on Monday afternoon there was no public forum provided, and that “the Board convened and then recessed into a closed-door Executive Session…”

Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2, which Bryant says “is the Board’s regular business meeting. They are expected to recess into a closed-door Executive Session to review the candidates, the members may choose to come out of executive session to vote on the appointment to fill the unexpired term. That person ‘if interested’ would have to run for the seat in November of 2019.”

As far as when the Columbus community is likely to learn that outcome, Bryant says “nothing is for certain, though the Board President [Gary L. Baker II] yesterday did share that he expects the Board to vote on the vacancy at the Board’s regularly-scheduled meeting on Tuesday.”

The Board vacancy proceedings come shortly after CCS announced the appointment of Dr. Talisa Dixon as its incoming superintendent and CEO on Sept. 20, concluding a nearly four-month-long search process to fill the vacancy left by predecessor Dr. Dan Good upon his retirement in December 2017.

Dr. John D. Stanford, also a finalist in the search, was appointed to the role on an interim basis in January 2018.

Dixon is beginning her fifth year as superintendent of Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools. She is expected to remain there until the end of the calendar year and will join the CCS leadership team officially in January 2019. She will also be the division’s 21st superintendent since 1847.

“During this process, the Board’s interviews and community feedback revealed Dr. Dixon’s high level of experience and capability to lead our District,” CCS President Baker said in a press release published on the division’s website.

According to a biography provided by BWP, the independent Chicago-area firm charged with conducting the superintendent search, Dixon “is seen as a progressive educator who knows how to get things done to support the needs of all students as witnessed through the district’s equity policy that serves as a model for other systems and goes beyond rhetoric to identifiable action and results.”

Prior to her current position with Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools, Dixon served as Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in Saginaw, Michigan, and as a school principal in both Akron and Columbus – the latter of which she was employed for nine years in the Columbus City Schools district. Dixon received a BA in Sociology from Mississippi State University, three Masters of Arts degrees from the University of Akron in Secondary Education, Educational Administration and Sociology, and a Doctorate in Educational Administration in 2003 from the University of Akron.

Dixon was unavailable for interviews at press time.

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