Lorain City Schools Academic Distress Commission Gets 5 New Members
Lorain City Schools have a new 5 member commission to oversee the district’s turnaround. The state has moved to take control after several years of low test scores, as it did with Youngstown City Schools.
Lorain’s first Academic Distress Commission formed 4 years ago and those members say they did manage to make improvements. But their term has expired. The State School Superintendent named three new members: Patricia O’Brien of the Stocker Foundation, Anthony Richardson of The Nord Family Foundation, and Michele Soliz, Assistant Vice President at the University of Toledo.
Lorain’s School Board president Tim Williams named one member: Dorinda Hall, an Instructional Coach, for Lorain City Schools.
And Lorain’s Mayor Chase Ritenauer named one member: John Monteleone, the Assistant Superintendent at Oberlin City Schools and a former Lorain school principal.
The new commissioners have 60 days to choose a CEO who would act as School Superintendent. He or she will have the power to dissolve collective bargaining agreements and turn the city schools into charter schools. Current superintendent Jeff Graham has said he would be interested in the position but he does not support changing the schools to charters.
MEMBER BIOS from ODE
About Patricia O’Brien
Patricia O’Brien currently serves as executive director of The Stocker Foundation and leads the organization through all facets of strategic decision-making related to competitive grant-making and evaluation, local funding initiatives and maintaining best practice governance policies.
Before joining The Stocker Foundation, O’Brien honed her nonprofit management and fund development skills while employed at The City Club of Cleveland and Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (formerly Girl Scouts of Erie Shores). She is actively involved in Philanthropy Ohio, participating on the Education Advisory Committee, focused on critical areas to improve student achievement, early childhood learning, college and career readiness, and college completion. For 10 years (2005-2015), O’Brien served on the board of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio. Holding leadership positions of increased responsibility, she was board chair (2014-2015) during a multimillion dollar capital campaign to construct a new, 40,000 square foot warehouse distribution facility. Currently, she serves as a founding board member and board chair of Oberlin Center for the Arts.
About Anthony Richardson, J.D.
Anthony Richardson currently serves as a Civic Affairs and Education program officer for the Nord Family Foundation. He is a native of Lorain and a 2001 honors graduate of Admiral King High School. In 2005, Richardson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College, where he double majored in Politics and African-American Studies with a concentration in Education. Shortly thereafter, he enrolled in law school and graduated from The Ohio State University’s Michael E. Moritz College of Law in 2009.
In 2011, Richardson was elected as a councilman at large in the city of Lorain, becoming the youngest African-American elected to an at-large seat. In 2013, he was re-elected and subsequently appointed chairman of the Police, Fire, and Legislative Standing Committee. During his time on City Council, he sponsored legislation to increase hiring goal percentages for racial/ethnic minorities and women on city projects, supported senior citizen initiatives and worked diligently to address constituent needs and concerns.
Richardson is an active participant with Philanthropy Ohio, where he currently serves on the Member Services Committee, Education Advisory Committee, Public Policy Committee and the Tax Reform Working Group.
About Michele Soliz, Ph.D.
Dr. Michele Soliz currently serves as the assistant vice president for Student Success and Inclusion within the Division of Student Affairs at The University of Toledo. In addition to leading the Office of Multicultural Student Success, Dr. Soliz provides leadership to the Office of EXCEL as well as the Upward Bound program.
With nearly 20 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Soliz has served in numerous key roles across the institution, including in the Office of the President. In collaboration with partners across the institution, Dr. Soliz increased the usage and visibility of academic support services that help retain students and lead to graduation. Prior to her role in the provost’s area, Dr. Soliz served as the dean of students. She is active in the UT Latino Alumni Affiliate, serves as a mentor to African-American female students in the Talented and Aspiring Women Leaders program and teaches Managing Diversity in the Workplace.
Dr. Soliz received her Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from Bowling Green State University and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in Higher Education from the University of Toledo, where her research focused on Latino student baccalaureate completion rates and student engagement.
About John Monteleone
John Monteleone is a resident of the city of Lorain, a former educator and principal in the Lorain City School District for 17 years, and is currently the assistant superintendent of the Oberlin City Schools.
Monteleone received a Bachelor of Arts from John Carroll University, a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Bowling Green State University, and attended Cleveland State University’s Superintendent Program. He serves as a committee member on the Ohio Standards Coalition, where he has direct input and knowledge of the instructional state standards, the revision process, legislative recommendations and resources. He was recognized as one of the top 10 exceptional Latino school leaders in the United States by the National Council of La Raza, where he serves as an advocate.
About Dorinda Hall
Dorinda Hall currently serves as an academic instructional coach for Lorain City Schools, supporting teachers in the classroom with data and instructional strategies at the elementary level. She has held various teaching and administrative positions within the district since 2004 and has been a teacher since 1997. Hall holds a Bachelor of Science from Central State University and a Master’s of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Cleveland State University. She also holds a principal license.
Hall has served in various leadership roles in the district, including serving on the District Leadership Team, Professional Learning Steering Committee, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Team and the Policy Committee. She also has served as an advisor and facilitator with the Educator’s Knowledge Network through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.