4 noteworthy superintendent hires, 1 surprising switch and a termination

Superintendent Javier Abrego has been terminated after serving just one year at the helm of the School City of East Chicago.

Superintendent hires are continuing at a rapid clip so far this summer, while one leader has made an unexpected career move and yet another’s tenure came to an abrupt end.

C. Michael Robinson Jr.
C. Michael Robinson Jr.

Akron Public Schools in Ohio has chosen as its next superintendent C. Michael Robinson Jr., who is currently the chief academic officer at East Baton Rouge Parish Schools in Louisiana. Robinson began his career as an ELA teacher in the Lafourche Parish School System in Louisiana, where he was born and raised. He later served as a turnaround principal in Georgia and as the superintendent of the Pine Bluff School District in Arkansas.

Three districts are giving lifelong educators their first shots at the superintendency. Also in Ohio, Jeremy Batchelor has been appointed the superintendent of the Youngstown City School District. Before being named the district’s interim superintendent, Batchelor had served as deputy superintendent, chief of staff and high school principal. He was the assistant superintendent of Austintown Local Schools from 2014-2018.

More from DA: New education laws took effect this month. What’s in store for these 3 states? 

Ignacio Ruíz will take the helm at Las Cruces Public Schools in New Mexico on Aug. 31. Ruiz is currently an assistant superintendent in Nevada’s Clark County School District in Nevada and was previously the director of language acquisition in the Tucson USD in Arizona.

And in North Carolina, Adell Baldwin has been selected as the next superintendent of the Scotland County Schools and will take office on July 20. Baldwin has been a principal in the Marion County School District in South Carolina and the chief operations officer for the Center for Responsive Schools in Massachusetts.

A surprising switch

Elizabeth Lolli
Elizabeth Lolli

Lakota Local Schools announced on Thursday that it had hired current Dayton Public School Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli to serve as its interim leader for the 2023-24 school year. The district’s school board made the decision as it tapped the brakes on its search for a permanent leader. Lolli had been Dayton’s superintendent for the last six years and was named the state’s 2023 superintendent of the year.

More new hires: 

  • Phil Dobbins, Clay County Schools (West Virginia)
  • Daniel Erceg, Saugerties Central School District (New York)
  • Ben Gilpin, Newaygo Public Schools (Michigan)
  • Tina Johnson, Hartland-Lakeside School District (Wisconsin)
  • Dan Mesyar, Onekama Consolidated Schools (Michigan)
  • Superintendent David Segers is leaving Woodsboro ISD for the same position at Maud ISD (Texas), The Refugio County Press reports.
  • Dan Wilson, Catskill Central School District (New York)
  • Lyman Woodfin, Autauga County Schools (Alabama)

An 18-year run is ending

An 18-year tenure is winding down in Maine. Jim Anastasio, the longtime superintendent of the Augusta School Department, plans to resign at the end of the 2023-24 school year, CentralMaine.com reported. The website added that the announcement was made a day before the school board had scheduled Anastasio’s performance review and contract renewal decision.

Superintendent Javier Abrego has been terminated by a 3-2 school board vote after serving just one year at the helm of the School City of East Chicago in Indiana, according to the NWI Times. Abrego’s detractors on the school board criticized him for a lack of communication during a reorganization while the NWI Times also noted the district’s falling enrollment, financial difficulties, low graduation rates and subpar test scores. Abrego was also voted out of his previous role as superintendent of Adams County School District 14 in Colorado.

Finally, Brian Petrie will leave Cardington-Lincoln Local Schools in Ohio on July 31 after serving as superintendent for 13 years, according to The Morrow County Sentinel. 

More departures:

  • Superintendent Matthew Bystrak is leaving the West Seneca Central School District (New York) to become assistant superintendent for student services at the Kenmore Town of Tonawanda School District.
  • Steve Hope will resign as superintendent of Goshen Community Schools (Indiana) on July 31, inkFreeNews.com reported.
  • Kyle Wieland has resigned as superintendent of Manchester Community Schools (Indiana), according to The Paper of Wabash County. 
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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