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Ohio's state school superintendent resigns after less than a month on the job

 The Ohio Department of Education in downtown Columbus, where State Board of Education meetings are held for two days each month.
Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
The Ohio Department of Education in downtown Columbus, where State Board of Education meetings are held for two days each month.

The former state board of education vice president and Reynoldsburg City Schools superintendent who was appointed as superintendent of public instruction less than a month ago has resigned.

State Board of Education President Charlotte McGuire announced Dackin's resignation with this statement: “Today, I received notice from Stephen D. Dackin of his resignation from the position of superintendent of public instruction. Dr. Stephanie Siddens will serve as interim superintendent of public instruction effective immediately until the State Board can appoint her as Interim Superintendent at the Board’s June meeting. I am confident that together we will continue the important work in support of Ohio’s children, families and future.”

Dackin got the job last month with a 14-4 vote among the board members. Before applying for the position, Dackin was leading the process to fill the role left open by the resignation of former state superintendent Paolo DeMaria.

While it's unclear whether that played a role in Dackin's decision to resign, there are lingering questions among critics about the access Dackin had to material submitted by other applicants.

The search for a new state superintendent began after Paolo DeMaria announced in July 2021that he would retire. His last day with the department of education was September 21, 2021.

DeMaria became the fourth superintendent to take the helm of ODE in five years, but went on to serve in that post for five years under two different Ohio governors.

Dackin was among 10 members of the State Board of Education who voted to rescind a resolution that was passed in July 2020, following the protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Seven members voted against taking back that resolution, which brought dozens of people to the board's meeting to make remarks for and against it.

Dackin, Martha Manchester and Charlotte McGuire had all voted for the resolution in July 2020 but then voted to rescind it and replace it with the new resolution in October 2021. Two board members, Laura Kohler and Eric Poklar, resigned after that resolution was rescinded.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.