The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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June 7, 2014

Conneaut BOE finds new leader

Superintendent will be introduced at special meeting Tuesday

CONNEAUT — Conneaut’s Board of Education will introduce a new superintendent to the community at a special Tuesday morning meeting, board president Cris Newcomb said Friday morning.

Newcomb declined to identify the successful candidate, saying the new hire wanted to personally inform his employers before they read about it in the newspaper. “He has to talk to his school board,” he said.

Newcomb did say the new superintendent was born in Brookfield, comes from a Youngstown-area school district and will bring plenty of years as a teacher and administrator. In fact, his varied service helped make him the premiere applicant, Newcomb said.

“He has experience in many different areas,” he said.

The school board settled on the candidate after another meeting Thursday night.

“Things went well,” said John Rubesich, Ashtabula County Educational Service Center superintendent who has helped the board with the job search. “I’m pretty sure the city of Conneaut will be happy with their new superintendent.”

Board members began searching in earnest last month to find a successor to Kent Houston, who earlier this year announced he would be resigning due to retirement at the end of the year. The board interviewed nine people last week, according to reports.

“We were blessed with a good pool of candidates,” Newcomb said Friday. “It’s hard to find folks with a superintendent (certificate),” he said.

The next superintendent will begin his duties Aug. 1, Newcomb said. Still to be determined is the status of Houston after that date.

“(The board) has to have that discussion,” Newcomb said. “We haven’t discussed what (Houston) will be doing for the district (after Aug. 1).”

Houston was a Conneaut educator and high school principal before accepting the superintendent position in July 2008.

Newcomb said the board is grateful to the county ESC for spearheading the candidate search. Four of the five board members have never hired a superintendent, so the assistance was invaluable, he said.

“We’re still a relatively new board,” Newcomb said. “We have a gold mine when it comes to the ESC.”

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