Dunaway hops on schools' runaway retirement train
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 10:57 AM

ThisWeek Community Newspapers
The retirement vacuum at the top of the Worthington school district took another sweep on Monday.

The newest resignation came from Ed Dunaway, principal at Worthington Kilbourne High School, who announced he would be leaving at the end of the year.

That makes eight administrators who will not be returning next school year, and whose positions must be filled in the next few months.

"People are retiring," said Trent Bowers, coordinator of human resources. "In every case, these are people who have served the district well."

At the top, of course, is superintendent Melissa Conrath, who plans to retire in October. School board president Marc Schare said three search teams will be interviewed this Friday. One will help find a successor to Conrath, who has been with the district five years.

Mark Glasbrenner, assistant superintendent, will also retire at the end of the year.

Bowers is expected to be hired to take over as assistant superintendent. He worked part of this school year as assistant superintendent intern, but had to return to the human resources department when long-time director Jeanne Paliotto left to take a job with the Ohio Department of Education.

Fifty-eight people have applied for Paliotto's position. Bowers hopes a successor will be hired by the end of spring break.

That person will be important in the upcoming hiring of replacements for Dunaway and for Pam VanHorn, who retired in January as principal of Kilbourne Middle School, and for Karen Groff and Jennifer Williams, who will retire at the end of the year as co-principals at Worthington Estates Elementary School.

Jock Harris, a retired principal from the Columbus Public Schools, was named interim principal at Kilbourne Middle School. He plans to serve out this school year.

For the middle school position, 101 applications have been received; for the elementary school, 95 applications.

The hiring process follows a similar pattern for each post. The opening is posted, often in statewide publications. For the high school opening, the search will probably go nationwide, Bowers said.

"We want to cast as wide a net as possible," he said. "We plan to post it in the next week or so."

The human resources department then narrows the field by matching job requirements will applications. Screening interviews are then done with 15 to 20 applicants, and the field is narrowed to four to six.

Those finalists are then interviewed by teams of administrators and staff and, in the case of principals, parents.

New middle and elementary school principals should be named at a board meeting in April, and Bowers said he hopes to have a new high school principal on board by June.

In the search for a superintendent, the agencies being considered are the Ohio School Boards Association; the Educational Services Center of Central Ohio; and School Exec Connect, a firm from Highland Park, Ill.

The proposal from each firm can be viewed on Marc Schare's Internet blog.