Super search down to three

Board of education vice president Anne Schaum

Three candidates are in the running for Oberlin’s school superintendent position.

Oberlin board of education members met last Tuesday and Wednesday in executive session with the top eight applicants.

The district had 22 candidates apply for the position after the sudden death of superintendent John Schroth of colon cancer.

Board vice president Anne Schaum said in an email that the large number of applicants was a true testament to Oberlin’s community and the system Schroth built.

Narrowing the field to just a handful of candidates was difficult, said Educational Service Center of Lorain County superintendent Greg Ring, who was hired to assist in the search.

The board picked David Hall, Brad Ritchey, and Ann Spurrier to return for the final round of interviews with three community groups. Those meetings were held Tuesday.

“(The three finalists) are well-qualified to lead the district and bring personal strengths that would be an asset to our community,” Schaum said.

Each applicant was specifically asked about their understanding of the International Baccalaureate program.

“The three finalists had experience with building projects and an appreciation for the sustainability priorities that exist in our district,” Schaum said. “They also expressed a clear understanding of school finances and our district’s position.”

A panel of teachers, parents, and community members invited to help interview candidates are expected to provide feedback to aid in the final decision.

Finalist qualities:

• David Hall of Lorain has been the assistant superintendent at Lorain City Schools since 2013. He has worked with Lorain County Community College to develop the Titan College, Titan Junior College Initiative, and College Credit Plus Program to award more than 400 high school freshmen with three to six college credits.

Hall increased the Lorain City Schools attendance rate by two percent in the 2013-2014 school year by partnering with the Lorain County Juvenile Court and facilitated the Career Technical Education Internship Program that created local internships for 50 students.

• Brad Ritchey of Brunswick has been the director of instructional assessment at the Parma City Schools. He has coordinated and trained Parma’s teachers to the Student Growth Measures and was involved with the planning and implementation of teacher-based teams and consolidation.

Ritchey also coordinated a building-level levy campaign for Parma and coordinated the Diversity Training and Conflict Resolution Program with the C-TEC School counseling staff.

• Ann Spurrier of Concord has served as Shaker Heights High School principal since 2007. She guided the special education department, coordinated district services, and shared instructional leadership through the teacher-based Teams.

Spurrier established an academic achievement plan to improve Perry Middle School’s master schedule and curriculum and worked on redesigning its kindergarten-through-eighth grade summer tutoring program.

A new superintendent is expected to be announced at a board meeting July 1.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.

Note: An online version of this story incorrectly identified the cause of John Schroth’s death as a brain tumor. While he did have a tumor removed from his brain Jan. 27, colon cancer led to his death in April. The News-Tribune apologizes for the error.