SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — The search is still on to find a new superintendent for Ashtabula Area City Schools after Dr. Mark Potts announced he will be stepping down from his position at the end of July.

Although the school board interviewed several candidates over the past few months, and enlisted the help of the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center, they have yet to find one they can all agree on, Board President William Niemi said.

Consequently, the board took the following actions at Wednesday night’s regular meeting at Lakeside High School:

• Suspended the superintendent search process with the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center.

• Approved an agreement with the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) to help with the search.

• Employed Potts as interim superintendent, effective Aug. 1, on a month-to-month contract, not to exceed one year, at $600 a day, plus health insurance benefits.

• Approved a three-year, $103,783 contract with Dr. Kelly Washington to serve as assistant superintendent, beginning Aug. 1. Washington resigned her position as director of school improvement, effective July 31.

“I am looking forward to serving; thank you for trusting me,” Washington said. “This is home to me and I’m very grateful.”

Niemi said he’s looking forward to the OSBA helping the district in the search for a new superintendent.

“They will come in and meet with us and get the values and vision of the district in order to find a superintendent that will fit,” he said.

The OSBA then will advertise and narrow the field and provide AACS with three or four candidates.

“This is a very, very big decision,” Niemi said. “Probably the biggest decision we will make as board members.”

Niemi said they will provide updates to the community as the process continues.

An Ashtabula native, Potts was hired Feb. 20, 2018 to serve as interim superintendent, and soon after, was appointed superintendent. He is leaving with three years on his contract.

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