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3 firms vying to lead Ohio superintendent search

Posted: 1:05 PM, Dec 13, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-13 18:05:27Z

Three firms seeking to lead the search for Ohio's new state superintendent are ready to make their cases to the state school board.

The 19-member Ohio Board of Education was meeting Sunday to hear from the firms. Each will explain why it's the best choice to identify a replacement for Superintendent Richard Ross.

Search firms under consideration are Greenwood Asher and Associates, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates and Ray and Associates Inc. The final firm will be selected at the board's monthly meeting Tuesday.

Ross retires Dec. 31. His departure comes as questions linger over a decision by former Ohio charter schools chief David Hansen to omit certain failing grades from charter school sponsor evaluations. Hansen has since resigned and Ross has turned over thousands of pages of his emails and calendars to authorities.

The state board is also expected to vote on an interim replacement for Ross at its Tuesday meeting.

Any member was allowed to suggest a candidate for the temporary position. Education Department spokeswoman Kim Norris said only one name was submitted: that of current associate superintendent Lonny Rivera. Rivera is a former superintendent of Oregon City Schools near Toledo who joined the department in April.

Rivera was also tapped as Ross' interim superintendent pick in a transition plan that he and Board President Tom Gunlock initially planned to carry out, citing legal advice from the department. Some board members objected to the approach, saying they should have the opportunity to vote on who would be the interim superintendent.

Greenwood/Asher is based in Miramar Beach, Florida. Its website says it has conducted over 2,000 successful global and executive searches. Hazard, Young -- based in Schaumberg, Illinois -- is the nation's largest education search firm, according to its website. Ray and Associates is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It also specializes in executive searches in the field of education.