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Manchester super retiring Aug. 31

6/19/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Joyce Rainey Long

NEW FRANKLIN — After 45 years in education, Sam Reynolds, superintendent of Manchester Local Schools, announced he plans to retire effective Aug. 31 at the June 17 Manchester Board of Education meeting as community members voiced their concerns about the search for a new leader.

Reynolds, 67, has served as superintendent for 10 years and has worked for the district for 44 years.

“It has been a great privilege and honor to work for the Manchester community,” said Reynolds. “I have always been proud of our students’ effort, performance and attitude. These young people reflect the values of their families. The strength of our schools has always been the ability of the Manchester Schools to share these same family values. I am grateful that I had a small part in this process.”

Reynolds told the board he will stay as long as he is needed to help with the transition to the new superintendent.

The board voted 3-2 to select Linda Fuline, superintendent of Summit County Educational Service Center, to facilitate the search for a new superintendent, with board members Amy Meredith and Kelly Dolan dissenting. They both said they wanted to consider other people or other consulting companies to possibly lead the superintendent search.

Board President Rick Sponseller said Fuline has offered her services for free and she recently has facilitated searches to find superintendents for other districts.

“We should have community input [on the superintendent search],” said Sponseller. “These are your kids and our town. … We will work together to find the best hire for Manchester.”

John Stoner, a Manchester resident, told the board he would like community input to help select a superintendent.

“I want the board to consider a committee with members of the community, the board and teachers,” said Stoner.

Another resident, Jerry Durieux, questioned how the position has been advertised.

Meredith said the position has been advertised on three educational websites without a job description because the board has not had an opportunity to have any discussion about this matter.

Dolan said the average search for a superintendent takes three to six months.

The board could hire an interim superintendent, said Meredith.

“We need to come up with common ground to decide what we want in the candidates,” Meredith said.

Dolan said she has talked with school board members in nearby districts to see how their searches were done. She said other districts have chosen a facilitator and then had a focus group write a job description. The board would narrow down the candidates and an interview session would be first conducted with a larger group and then board members would do the final interviews.

A meeting will be held June 30 at 6:30 p.m. with Fuline in the social studies rooms at Manchester High School, 437 W. Nimisila Road. She will outline the process of hiring a superintendent.

In another matter, the board honored William York, who retired as the art teacher at Nolley Elementary School after teaching for 25 years.

“We appreciate everything you have done in the art program, and the foundation was set by you,” said Reynolds.

In other business, the board:

  • learned all of the third-graders at Nolley Elementary passed the Ohio Achievement Assessments, according to James Robinson, Ph.D., director of curriculum and instruction.
    “This shows that the teachers, parents and students worked very hard,” said Robinson, adding 86 percent of the students achieved advanced or accelerated scores on the assessments;
  • approved the 2014-15 milk bid of Reiter Dairy and the bread bid of Nickles Bakery;
  • approved Griffin Insurance Agency to offer student accident insurance;
  • accepted two certified resignations and two certified appointments, including the resignation of Donald Shem, school psychologist. Amanda Andrews was hired as the new school psychologist; and
  • accepted donations for $150 for the Manchester High School National Honor Society and $50 for the Teacher Memorial Scholarship in memory of Bob Dengler from the Oyler family.

The board adjourned to executive session to discuss personnel matters.

A special meeting will take place June 30 at 4 p.m. in the Administration Building, located at 6075 Manchester Road, for the end-of-fiscal-year reports. The next regular meeting will take place July 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the Administration Building.

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