How Ohio's Board of Ed Found its New State Superintendent

Stan Heffner is Ohio's Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Ohio’s interim superintendent is no longer interim. The Ohio Board of Education gave Stan Heffner  the job on a permanent  basis today, the day before he was to sign the papers on a house in Texas and head there to work for the private Educational Testing Service.

Heffner has been with the Ohio Department of Education since 2004, and became interim superintendent after Gov. Kasich forced out Deborah Delisle in March. He says he didn’t apply for the permanent job because he was backing Reynoldsburg Superintendent Steve Dackin to get it.

But Dackin pulled out this weekend, and Heffner put in for the job today. Yesterday, the board interviewed former Illinois state superintendent Robert Schiller, who had been the lone finalist for the position after Dackin's and another finalist's withdrawal.

The board has not yet set Heffner’s salary, but board President Debe Terhar says it will be less than he would have made with Educational Testing Service, the national company that develops and administers standardized tests for teachers and students.

Heffner spent 15 years as superintendent of Madison Local School District in Lake County. He holds his masters in school administration from Northern State University in South Dakota and did doctoral work at the University of Idaho.

Update, 7/13:

Heffner said he only put in for the job Sunday night after two of the three finalists dropped out. Both are from Ohio, and Heffner says that’s important:

“The current budget issues that Ohio faces, it seems to me require the immediate attention of folks who are experienced with Ohio, who can hit the ground running...and can help districts manage through what are going to be a tough couple of years with limited resources and with the changes that we’re engaged in with Race to the Top and those kind of things. I think Ohio needed an Ohio-experienced leader."

(Additional reporting from StateImpact reporter Ida Lieszkovszky.)

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