Previous experience as a superintendent was the ultimate reason Hilliard Board of Education members tapped the lone external candidate to lead Ohio’s ninth-largest school district.
John C. Marschhausen, superintendent of Loveland City Schools in suburban Cincinnati, was named Feb. 28 to succeed Dale McVey as superintendent of Hilliard City Schools. McVey announced in October he was retiring June 30.
Marschhausen was one of three finalists for the job. The other two candidates were Hilliard administrators.
“We knew it would take a special person to get this job in place of our internal candidates,” said Andy Teater, Hilliard Board of Education president.
“But, when we viewed (Marschhausen’s) eight years of experience as a superintendent, it was what put him over the top,” he said.
Teater described Marschhausen as “dynamic and passionate” about students and education, as well experienced in the role of superintendent.
Board members and District Treasurer Brian Wilson conducted final interviews during a special closed-doors meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26 and quickly reached a decision.
“(But) it was a very difficult decision,” Teater said.
“Our two internal candidates are such an integral part of our success (that) it was difficult to choose the external candidate,” but his prior experience as a superintendent simply became a determining factor, Teater said.
Marschhausen learned about his new job while driving back to his suburban Cincinnati residence.
Via speaker phone, Teater called Marschhausen while he was still driving on Interstate 71 South.
“I was thrilled to get the call and graciously accepted,” said Marschhausen, whose next call was to his wife, Susan.
“ ‘Are you ready to buy some boxes?’ was the first thing I asked her,” Marschhausen said.
“I am thrilled to have this tremendous opportunity to lead the premier district in Ohio,” Marschhausen said.
His comments came one day after district officials learned that among all the districts in Ohio, Hilliard had the highest “value-added” index, a measurement of students’ individual improvement in a school year.
“I can’t imagine a better place to be,” Marschhausen said. “I have received such tremendous support and well wishes from everyone (at Loveland),” Marschhausen said.
“It will be difficult to leave friends here, but I’m also looking forward to the excitement of coming to Hilliard,” he said.
Marschhausen will officially begin his tenure July 1.
Teater said although a contract has been forged, it has not been signed, and he declined to disclose any of its content.
Board members have scheduled a special meeting for 7 p.m. Monday, March 4, seven days earlier than originally planned, to formally adopt a resolution officially naming Marschhausen superintendent.
Marschhausen, 42, his wife, Susan, and their two daughters, Jordan and Emily, eighth- and fifth-grade students, are expected to attend. Mrs. Marschhausen is a teacher at Miami Local Schools and plans to seek employment as a teacher at another Central Ohio school district.
Marschhausen was superintendent of East Knox Local Schools for five years before joining Loveland City Schools in 2010.
He has a doctorate from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minn., a master’s degree from the University of Dayton, and a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University.
The other two finalists for superintendent of Hilliard schools were Steve Estepp, executive director of K-12 curriculum and instruction, and David Stewart, principal of Hilliard Bradley High School.