Search underway for new Wilmington City Schools superintendent

By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]

WCS Board of Education President Mike Flanigan

WCS Board of Education President Mike Flanigan

Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — The plan is to name the next superintendent of Wilmington City Schools (WCS) before the end of June.

The position has been advertised with numerous professional educational organizations and sent by email to subscribers of selected educational email lists, according to a press release from the Wilmington-based Southern Ohio Educational Service Center (SOESC) which is assisting on the process.

The hope is to find a person whom the board wants to have lead the school district for the next several years at least. But if they can’t find the right candidate, they will need to appoint an interim superintendent because state law requires that the position be filled by August 1, said WCS Board of Education President Michael Flanigan.

A concern about going with an interim superintendent, he said, is the school district has an important tax renewal on the fall ballot and an interim person “may not have as much skin in the game” to help pass the levy as would a longer-term superintendent, Flanigan suggested.

At a special school board meeting, member Brian Shidaker said in his mind, selecting a superintendent is the biggest decision that school board members make.

At a regular board meeting this week, the Wilmington City Schools Board of Education voted to have the SOESC assist with the search, expected to cost about $4,500.

Over the past several years, the SOESC has assisted Blanchester, Clinton-Massie, East Clinton, Fairfield, Lynchburg-Clay, and Miami Trace Local Schools with their superintendent searches along with Blanchester, Clinton-Massie, Fairfield Local, and Hillsboro City Schools with their treasurer searches, stated the SOESC press release.

“We have a vested interest in finding the best possible superintendent for Wilmington City and will work with the new superintendent in continuing to provide high-quality educational experiences for all the students who attend Wilmington City Schools,” stated SOESC Superintendent Beth Justice.

Though the SOESC helps the school board, among other things, screen the pool of candidates, the ultimate decision is made by the WCS Board of Education members, noted Flanigan.

The application deadline is set for June 8.

Current WCS Superintendent Mindy McCarty-Stewart announced May 11 she is leaving the post after five years to become superintendent at Kettering City Schools.

Kettering has an approximate enrollment of 7,742 students, according to a fall 2021 report from the Ohio Department of Education. The Wilmington district totals 2,256 students.

McCarty-Stewart started as WCS superintendent in July 2017, succeeding the retiring Ron Sexton.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

WCS Board of Education President Mike Flanigan Board of Education President Mike Flanigan Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]