Northridge needs an interim superintendent who can hit the ground running, and school board members believe they found that person in George Tombaugh, assistant superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.
"It's extraordinary that (Tombaugh) is available," said board member Doug Hart, who added that Tombaugh's 27 years of experience as a superintendent for Westerville City Schools and Springfield Local of Lucas County, could help the district move forward from months of controversy surrounding nonpublic student busing and the Sept. 14 resignation of Superintendent John Shepard, who will remain with the district as educational operations consultant for the remainder of the term of his current contract. Shepard, whose contract expires July 31, 2013, will work mainly from home.
Hart said Tombaugh would act not only as interim superintendent but also would help the district find a permanent replacement for Shepard. Hart said Tombaugh believes he could find a new superintendent for Northridge by Christmas break of this year.
"This is an on-paper plan," Hart said, adding that Tombaugh has found superintendents for other districts, including Granville.
Hart said Northridge had interviewed several people for the interim position, including Johnstown-Monroe school board president Roger Montgomery and former Newark City Schools Superintendent Keith Richards.
"(Richards) was exceptionally engaging," Hart said.
However, Richards travels often these days and would not have been able to be at Northridge as often as the administration would like him to be.
Hart said Montgomery also was a very engaging interview but lacks experience as a superintendent.
"We need somebody who's served as superintendent," he said.
As for Tombaugh, Hart said, "He brings it all," and he can help the district move forward even during the search.
"(Tombaugh) brings a wealth of experience and knowledge," board member Mark Dann said. "He's a pretty adept professional. He can handle anything."
He said Tombaugh would be compensated on a per-diem rate of $425.
Tombaugh said he intends to begin Monday, Oct. 8, at Northridge and meet with administration members and supervisors to become familiar with the current goals of the school year.
"Take stock of where we are," he said.
Tombaugh said his goals include establishing an open communication within the district and providing stability during the transitional period.
"People want to know what's going on," he said. "I'd like to calm the waters and focus on the students -- move forward."