8 advance to interviews for Ohio’s schools superintendent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Superintendents, consultants, academics, administrators and former education advisers to governors are among eight contenders chosen Thursday to advance to the interview stage in the search for a new leader for Ohio’s public schools.

Finalists for state superintendent selected by the State Board of Education include Robert Sommers, a former education adviser to Republican Gov. John Kasich; Paolo DeMaria, a former state budget director and chief policy adviser to former Gov. Bob Taft, also a Republican; and Michael Sentance, education consultant and former senior education adviser to two governors of Massachusetts.

Rounding out the list of those to be interviewed next month are:

— Shonda Hardman, who’s been a school administrator in Houston, Boston and Chicago;

— Thomas Lasley, executive director of Learn to Earn Dayton and a former dean at the University of Dayton;

— Tina Thomas-Manning, superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools;

— David Estrop, an education consultant and former superintendent of the Springfield and Lakewood schools; and

—Thomas Jandris, a senior vice president and dean at Concordia University of Chicago.

Forty-four people applied for the vacancy left when Superintendent Richard Ross retired his role as leader of the Ohio Department of Education on Dec. 31. Ross’ departure came after questions had arisen over a decision by then-Ohio charter schools chief David Hansen to omit certain failing grades from charter school sponsor evaluations.

Hansen, whose wife manages Kasich’s presidential campaign, resigned and Ross turned over thousands of pages of his emails and calendars to authorities. He has said his retirement was unrelated.

Lonny Rivera has been serving as interim superintendent until a permanent replacement is picked.

The state school board began Thursday’s deliberations on filling the position with a closed session. They spent several hours discussing the list of five finalists recommended by search firm Ray and Associates, additional nominations board members brought forward from the applicant list and the questions to be asked of finalists.


Superintendent search page: http://1.usa.gov/1SCiAqD