Craft says 'exploration' of job in UA won't affect work here
Superintendent is one of three candidates for top job in Upper Arlington schools
Delaware City School District Superintendent Paul Craft may have a tough decision to make in the next few weeks.
Craft is one of the top three contenders for the Upper Arlington schools superintendent position. Current Superintendent Jeff Weaver will retire July 31.
Craft, along with 22 others, submitted applications for the job.
After two rounds of interviews, Craft and two other contenders remain; they are set to be interviewed this week.
Craft previously worked in the Upper Arlington schools for 17 years as a teacher, high school administrator and executive director of business services.
He said it wasn't an easy decision to apply, considering he just moved to the Delaware school district in 2010.
"We have a great thing going in this district; we have momentum and are moving in a positive direction," Craft said.
He said he believes the Delaware community is doing great things at every level.
"Between things like People in Need and the new community center, the direction and vitality of the business community makes Delaware a great fit for me," he said. "It was with a lot of reluctance I applied for the position."
On the other side, Craft said, he spent 17 years in Upper Arlington and has a lot of friends and connections there.
"I at least want to explore the possibility," he said. "I honestly still haven't made the decision if I'm a fit for that district."
If offered the position, Craft wouldn't start until Aug. 1, which would allow him to lead Delaware through its attempt to pass a bond issue on the May ballot. Successful passage of the issue could lead to upgrades and renovations at many of the district's schools.
Although it's premature, he said if he were to accept the position, he would not allow that decision to distract him from leading Delaware schools.
He said he believes people will judge him based on what he does in the last few months of his career in one district and what he will bring to the next one.
"I will continue to work my hardest until the very last day that I'm here," he said. "I will continue to work long, long days to make sure we are meeting the needs of the students in this district."
He said interviewing for the position has been an exciting process.
"It's great to meet with the Upper Arlington district's stakeholders to really get an idea if I'm a good fit for them or not," he said.
Craft said he hopes his decision to interview for a position in Upper Arlington won't serve as a distraction from what he and the rest of the district are trying to do in Delaware.
"We have so much more to achieve here and what we're doing isn't about just one person, but a team, which is one thing that would make me reluctant to leave," he said.
The other candidates who will be interviewed are Paul Imhoff, superintendent at Mariemont City Schools, and Kyle Ramey, director of instructional services at Kettering City Schools.