Lorain Schools Superintendent Resigns; Distress Commission Approves Turnaround Plan

Lorain Schools CEO David Hardy. Jr. during Wednesday's Academic Distress Commission meeting.
Lorain Schools CEO David Hardy. Jr. during Wednesday's Academic Distress Commission meeting.

Lorain City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Graham resigned from his position Wednesday, according to district CEO David Hardy Jr., who said they have “shared correspondence” over the issue.

“I want to commend Jeff for the time and energy he put into this district and I wish him the best in everything that he does,” Hardy said.

Lorain City Schools are under the control of an academic distress commission and CEO as defined by state law. The structure gives Hardy full control of district policy, personnel, and budgetary decisions under the guidance of the commission.

“[Superintendent Graham was] put in a position that I’m sure wasn’t comfortable, but at the same time, we saw eye to eye on so many things so I think he understands the predicament that we both were in,” Hardy added.

Earlier in the week, Lorain Communications Director Erin Gadd also resigned her post, effective December 4.

Hardy didn’t say if he had asked for the resignations or if they were voluntary, but he did say more staffing changes are possible, both in the district office and within the leadership teams of the schools themselves.

“I think at this point, my energy and my time is focused on doing right by the people that are here with us and the people that will move forward with us,” Hardy said.

Hardy, central office staff, and those working in the schools were given the official go ahead Wednesday night to move forward with the CEO’s academic improvement plan. Members of the Lorain Academic Distress Commission voted unanimously in favor of Hardy’s plan, titled The Lorain Promise.

A draft version of The Lorain Promise, which includes Hardy’s five commitments for academic improvement, was released in October after 90 days of community and stakeholder meetings.

The newly approved proposal details plans to provide wrap around services to children in the district beginning at birth, close the academic achievement gap between groups of students by the third grade, build a culture of equity that provides additional supports for minority students, and connect high school students with opportunities to take college courses or obtain an industry credential before they graduate.

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