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Who Wants to Be Ohio's Next State Superintendent?

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 5:04 PM

russell davies / Flickr

The applicants for Ohio's top K-12 education post include several former state schools chiefs as well as the former president of a national school-choice organization and the lead consultant on the takeover of the Detroit public schools

Ohio's last state superintendent of public instruction resigned in August after the state inspector general found he had committed ethics violations. The board hired Iowa-based search firm Ray and Associates to conduct a national search for a replacement.

Gov. John Kasich's education advisor Dick Ross, former superintendent of the Reynoldsburg school district, has applied for the job. So has Michael Sawyers, who is currently serving as acting state superintendent.

Other applicants include Charles Hokanson Jr. (Former president of the Alliance for School Choice), Thomas Jandris (Concordia University dean and lead consultant on the takeover of Detroit schools), Jorea Marple (former West Virginia state schools chief) and Michael Sentance (former Massachusetts state schools chief).

Several of the candidates for Ohio's post also applied to searches Ray and Associates conducted for other state superintendent jobs, including the search for Florida's new education commissioner.

Five of the 30 candidates are women.

(See the full list of applicants below.)

The state superintendent is hired by the state Board of Education. Board members aligned with Gov. Kasich hold a majority on the board. The Columbus Dispatch is already calling Ross, Kasich's education advisor, a shoo-in for the job.

The state board's executive committee will meet Monday to select finalists to interview and plans to hold a first round of interviews the following week.

Applicants for Ohio State Superintendent Post

Name Location Current Position
Benita Ashford Mesquite, TX Dallas middle school principal
Spurgeon Banyard Clinton, MS Louisiana middle school principal
Walter Calinger Norton, OH Pittsburgh-area superintendent
Denise Callihan Lancaster, OH Former Lancaster, Ohio superintendent
Michael Cerkovnik Davidson, NC Former head of North Carolina private religious school
Letitia Cox Edison, NJ
Merry Cox St. Louis, MO South Carolina middle school principal
C. Fredrick Crum Malvern, OH
Luis Gonzalez Harrisburg, PA Former central Pennsylvannia superintendent
John Grahovac Sr. Poland, OH Former Mosaica charter school management company administrator
Charles Hokanson Jr. Arlington, VA Former president of Alliance for School Choice
Kimberly Hyde Chesterfield, MI
Kimberly Ingram Syracuse, NY Syracuse University assistant dean, former IT executive who managed IT projects for the Detroit schools
Thomas Jandris Chicago, IL Concordia University Dean, Lead consultant on state takeover of Detroit public schools, helped draft school reform legislation for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former director of state services for the Education Commission of the States
Joseph Lopez El Paso, TX Associate superintendent for El Paso school district
Brenda Lyons Detroit, MI Detroit elementary school principal
Jorea Marple Charleston, WV Former West Virginia state schools chief
Edwin Martinez Del Rio Chesapeake, VA Associate Campus Dean, Strayer University
Shannon Mayfield Allentown, PA Eastern Pennsylvannia high school principal
Gerry Morgan Bangkok, N/A Principal of the British Columbia International School in Bangkok
Darla Posney Tarentum, PA Administrator at Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School
Richard Ross Columbus, OH Kasich education advisor, leads Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education
Richard Ryder Mechanicsville, VA
Indira Sakamuri Auckland, New Zealand Teacher
Michael Sawyers Perry, OH Current acting superintendent of public instruction
Michael Sentance Concord, MA Former Massachusetts state schools chief
Melanie Spears Richmond, CA Consultant with Cambridge Education
Arthur Stellar Hingham, MA Self-employed consultant/writer
Shawn Thorpe Falls Church, VA Principal at Alexandria Public Schools
Micheal Wood Roseville, CA

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