Delaware News

Chance at schools' top jobs won't lure Craft away

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

After a month of being pulled in multiple directions, Superintendent Paul Craft has decided to stay right where he is.

The Delaware City School District superintendent was one of the top three candidates in the running for the top job in the Upper Arlington School District, where he has served as a teacher and administrator in the past.

Craft also was hand-picked by recruiters to apply for the Hilliard City Schools superintendent position, as well as another unnamed district.

Craft said after the third opportunity arose for him to jump ship and head to another district, he became increasingly more aware that he didn't want to go anywhere.

"When I was in the middle of the process, I talked with our board president and it was then I realized that my heart is here," he said.

Craft last week withdrew his name from consideration for all three districts and made the decision to continue serving in Delaware. Upper Arlington soon after announced that it had named Paul Imhoff, currently superintendent at Mariemont City Schools in suburban Cincinnati, as its new leader.

Craft said he hopes his decision to stay will help alleviate the concerns of those who expressed disappointment in his choice to apply for positions in other districts.

"Some people were very upset when they heard I was entertaining the idea of leaving, but I want those people to know that it was not because of my dissatisfaction here," he said. "In fact, this has reinforced my commitment here in Delaware."

Craft said he has so much unfinished business currently demanding his entire attention -- including the May bond issue, new teacher assessments and state report cards, and the new learning and testing standards being implemented in the next few years.

But what really made him want to stay, he said, was the district's staff.

In an email sent out last weekend to Delaware teachers and staff members, Craft said he knew the only reason he was being considered for other districts was because of the incredible work being done by the team of people in Delaware.

"I wouldn't trade this team of community members and school members for anything," he said. "It's as good as I've ever seen. We have a deep focus on the kids and that is where our focus needs to be."

Craft said the secret of Delaware's success is how the district moves more students forward, as well or better than any other area district.

"Our teachers are growing kids and moving students forward," he said. "These teachers are changing lives year after year and I still want to be a part of that."

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