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Norton school board selects new super

3/16/2017 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Norton grad, Highland Principal Dana Addis to be named superintendent

Dana Addis
Photo courtesy of Dana Addis
NORTON — Dana Addis, a 1984 Norton High School graduate, will come back to where he started his academic career when he takes over as superintendent of Norton City Schools in August.

The Norton City Schools Board of Education selected Highland High School Principal Addis March 13 at the conclusion of a superintendent search that began with a field of 40 candidates.

Board President Jason Sams said the board will make the hire official March 20 when Addis’ appointment will be on the regular meeting agenda.

The board invited a group of community members, staff, district administrators and high school students to participate in interviews with the two final candidates, Sams said.

Although the board could have made the decision on its own, Sams said they felt it was important to have input from the district’s stakeholders. He was particularly impressed with questions asked by the high school students, he said.

“Both candidates brought a lot to the table and both candidates would have been truly great for Norton, so I don’t want to take anything away from either candidate,” Sams said.

The board’s other finalist was Buckeye High School Principal Gabriel Tudor, according to Steve Farnsworth, leadership consultant with the Summit County Educational Service Center (ESC) Summit Leadership Selection Services. The board hired the ESC to assist in the search.

“As a board, we are excited to work with Dana, as is our staff,” said Sams. “We called Dana [March 13] and he was so excited … He’s ready to jump in … He’s ready to come in and help us get started whenever time allows.”

Addis said he is “beyond excited at this point.” It was a “crazy night” after he got the call offering him the job, he said. After some celebration with family, congratulatory calls began coming in.

“Word spread fast,” he said.

Addis said he loved his time as a student at Norton High School.

“I wouldn’t have chosen to go to school anywhere else,” he said. “To be able to go back and stand with those people is a fantastic dream realized.”

Addis recently had the opportunity to tour the new Norton High School building. It’s a “fantastic building” that will “create brand new energy” in the district, he said.

“I’ve been fortunate to work at some of the top districts in Northeast Ohio. To bring that experience back to my home district is a big honor for me and I’m looking forward to it,” Addis said.

Addis said he was grateful for the opportunity to have worked in the Highland Local School District, where he has been Highland High School principal since 2011. His experience at Highland was an “amazing honor” in an “amazing place” that gave him a “ton of leadership learning,” he said.

Addis began his teaching career at Norton and Smithville high schools in 1990, according to his résumé. He taught English at Copley High School beginning in 1994. While at Copley, he also was head basketball coach and served as athletic director from 2007 to 2010. Addis was assistant principal at Strongsville High School for one year before accepting the job with Highland.

Addis earned a bachelor of arts in telecommunications from Kent State University (KSU) in 1988 and a bachelor of science in education from KSU in 1992. He earned a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Akron. His principal’s administrative licensure was earned from Ashland University and his superintendent’s licensure was earned from KSU in 2016.

Addis and his wife, Laura, an art teacher at Copley High School, live in Wadsworth. Their son, Dean, is a finance major at KSU and their twin daughters, Hannah and Olivia, are seniors at Wadsworth High School.

Addis said he had no immediate plans to move to Norton, noting the commute from his current home to the Norton City Schools administrative offices is just over 4 miles.

Addis will replace David Dunn, who has served as district superintendent since 2007. Dunn will resign effective July 31. Dunn submitted his resignation in October after being told the board would not renew his contract.

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