Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools Superintendent Francis Scruci has withdrawn as a candidate for the superintendent's job in Pickerington Local Schools.

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools Superintendent Francis Scruci has withdrawn as a candidate for the superintendent's job in Pickerington Local Schools.

Scruci informed community members during an April 10 packed school board meeting that he had removed himself Tuesday night, April 8, from consideration as a candidate.

He was one of eight finalists who interviewed to replace outgoing Superintendent Rob Walker.

Scruci said he was contacted two-and-a-half weeks ago to apply for the Pickerington position.

"My heart wasn't there," he said.

For more on this story, read the April 17 edition of ThisWeek Rocky Fork Enterprise.


Earlier story Scruci is one of eight finalists for Pickerington superintendent job


Francis Scruci, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools superintendent, is one of eight candidates who are considered finalists for the superintendent post at Pickerington Local Schools.

The Pickerington Board of Education, with help from a private consultant, has identified eight candidates to be interviewed initially for the district's superintendent position.

Following an announcement last week that 14 people had applied to replace outgoing Superintendent Rob Walker, district officials Friday, April 4, said eight candidates have been selected to be interviewed, and Scruci is one of them.

The board narrowed its pool after five new applicants emerged last week.

The other newly identified candidates were Firelands Local School District (Lorain County) Superintendent Robert F. Hill, Northeastern Local School District (Springfield) Superintendent Lou Kramer, Grandview Heights City School District Superintendent Edward O'Reilly and North Union Local School District (Richwood) Superintendent Rick Smith.

Kramer, O'Reilly, Scruci and Smith each were expected to be interviewed by the board Monday, April 7, according to a press release from K-12 Business Consulting Inc., a firm the district is paying up to $11,500 to assist with the superintendent search.

Hill was expected to be interviewed Tuesday, April 8.

April 8 interviews also were scheduled for:

* Valerie M. Browning, Kings Local School District (Warren County) superintendent.

* George J. Joseph, Worthington City School District executive director of administrative services.

* Jennifer Penczarski, Kenton City School District (Hardin County) superintendent.

"We are pleased to report a number of very qualified individuals have submitted formal applications and required credentials for the position of superintendent," K-12 representatives Christopher Mohr and Dennis Leone stated in an April 3 memo to the school board. "K-12 Business Consulting would like to commend the members of the board for the time they spent studying the credentials of the candidates."

Scruci became Gahanna-Jefferson's superintendent Aug. 1, succeeding Mark White, who resigned to pursue other interests. His salary when he was hired was $170,000 plus $12,818 in health benefits. He also was eligible to receive an annuity of up to $10,000 for the first year of the contract and up to $20,000 in the second and third years, depending on performance.

Scruci previously was superintendent of Wellington Exempted Village Schools in Lorain County. He has a master's degree in administration from Ashland University.

Last month, Pickerington school board president Jim Brink said the board might make a selection in May, but he said the time line was contingent on the interview and contract negotiation processes.

Walker, who took over as Pickerington superintendent in August 2012, announced in February he planned to retire effective Aug. 1. Has been in education for 37 years.

At the time of his retirement announcement, Walker said he needed to step down to focus more time on his family and health.

Walker receives an annual salary of $135,000 and an additional $75,498 in benefits compensation for things such as health insurance and vehicle allowances.

According to information on the Pickerington website, the board anticipates paying the new superintendent a base salary of $125,000 to $150,000, along with a "competitive benefits package."

ThisWeek staff writer Marla K. Kuhlman contributed to this story.