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Acting Ohio Department of Education Head Michael Sawyers to Move On

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Friday, March 15, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Michael Sawyers is Ohio's acting superintendent of public instruction.

Michael Sawyers, the current acting head of the Ohio Department of Education, will leave the department next week, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The news of Sawyers' departure comes less than a week after the state Board of Education passed over him to fill the post permanently.

Sawyers has served as acting state superintendent of public instruction since the August resignation of former state superintendent Stan Heffner.

Sawyers was one of two finalists to fill the post permanently. On Tuesday, the state Board of Education instead picked Gov. Kasich's lead education advisor, Richard Ross, for the post.

Sawyers will become "chief of operations and strategic development" for the New Albany-Plain school district near of Columbus.

The Dispatch reports Ross had offered Sawyers a post at the department:

“While I am appreciative of the professional opportunity offered to me by Dr. Ross to remain at ODE as a senior leader of some type, I am electing to make a personal and professional change,” Sawyers wrote.

The New Albany job is a "restructured position," districts spokesperson Patrick Gallaway says:

The position has been restructured from the previous director of operations and planning to include current responsibilities in the oversight of all campus operations, Security and Safety, Capital planning and construction, Coordination with City/Township and public services, as well as expanded responsibilities including greater involvement in business process and performance management, human resources systems and quality metrics and processes.

(Like Sawyers, Gallaway is an Ohio Department of Education alumnus. Until last year, he served as a department spokesperson.)

Sawyers currently earns about $161,000 a year. Gallaway says Sawyers' new salary is being negotiated.

He is expected to start on April 8, Gallaway says.

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