Dublin Villager

Superintendent transition

Hoadley, Axner say process going smoothly

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Superintendent David Axner will have a month to work with incoming Superintendent Todd Hoadley when his contract officially begins Aug. 1.

Work on the leadership transition for Dublin City Schools has been ongoing, however, as Hoadley gets acclimated to his new job.

"It's almost a perfect scenario having Todd and I work together," Axner said.

"Obviously most districts don't have the opportunity to do that for various reasons," Axner said.

"There are a number of things we have been able to do and continue to do (such as) networking," he said.

"We started a while ago transitioning from boards I sit on and having him replace me. We've been able to introduce him to a few legislators ... ."

Axner will continue working for Dublin City Schools until the end of August.

His new job as associate executive director of the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators will begin in September.

Work on the transition between superintendents began before school let out, shortly after the Dublin Board of Education approved a five-year contract with Hoadley.

"I was fortunate the board gave me 15 paid transition days," Hoadley said. "I've far exceeded that already.

"Having the ability to come in even before school ended to visit the buildings and visit the teachers and visit classrooms, that was invaluable to see the district while it was in operation," he said.

"If you wait until summer you don't get a true flavor."

When Axner was hired as superintendent in 2007, he wasn't able to talk to the previous superintendent who was removed by the board after allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation.

"I didn't have anyone I could call for recent history," Axner said. "It's nice to share the ground work and how we got there so the district doesn't take steps back."

With 15 years as a superintendent under his belt, Hoadley said history and people are something unique that must be learned at each district.

"There are new faces and new names of people you need to get to know," he said.

"Investing time and building relationships with people is tremendously important for me ... learning the new people and places and history is important.

"Every district has a unique history and learning that and respecting that is very important for any leader to be able to understand the culture and the history of this organization," Hoadley said.

Axner has been assisting Hoadley in a few areas, though, such as interviews and Race to the Top plans.

"I've always met and interviewed in person at the last interview before making a recommendation to the board," Axner said.

"We have some principal candidat- es we both interviewed at the same time. He wanted my opinion. Now we've gone fill circle and he's doing it on his own."

"Dublin is a Race to the Top district, Olmsted Falls was not participating," Hoadley said.

"Every school district participating put together an individual plan, so I've put some time into getting familiar with the plan."

With about a month left with Dublin City Schools, Axner said he's confident Hoadley will continue his work.

"I think what I have been very proud of is the fact that I've been able to make the Dublin superintendent an attractive job and it wasn't when I was recruited to come here," Axner said.

"I think the success of our district and the strong board of education are well known. Being Dublin superintendent is a very attractive job now.

"That's why Todd Hoadley wanted to move his kids here and carry on the legacy," Axner said. "That piece is huge. When I was recruited it was in a different state."

For Hoadley, the move has so far been good.

"One thing I'd love the community to know is my appreciation of how people have reached out and welcomed not only myself, but the entire Hoadley family to Dublin," he said.

"There's been an outpouring of support that the entire family has received from the community," Hoadley said.

"I really want to express my appreciation to the people who have really reached out and welcomed us."

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