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Columbus City Schools

Perkins says interim chief Good's work with parents a key skill

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Dan Good, Westerville superintendent for the last five years, became interim superintendent of Columbus City Schools Monday, July 1.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

After some unanticipated setbacks, Columbus City Schools has its interim superintendent in place.

J. Daniel Good, who officially started July 1, will make $195,000 for his one-year contract.

Columbus Board of Education President Carol Perkins said Good has a lot on his plate.

He will be working closely with the Columbus Education Commission, formed by Mayor Michael B. Coleman, and helping pass a levy, which is expected to appear on the fall ballot.

"I think being a superintendent, everything is immediate, every day could be a crucial day," Perkins said.

"Of course, in terms of expectations, one of the reasons he was selected is we need to bring stability" to the district, she said.

Good, 51, replaced Gene Harris, who retired amid a cloud of controversy involving so-called data scrubbing, in which employees are accused of manipulating students' records to improve their schools' standing on state report cards.

"I just hope the community will give the interim superintendent a chance," Perkins said.

"I hope we will all be able to move forward and focus on change, and the good things we can be looking at in the future," she said.

"We know we have challenges, we know we've had challenges in the past."

Good was one of three finalists for the interim superintendent job.

The board was set to hire Joseph Alutto, executive vice president and provost of Ohio State University, as the interim superintendent, but Alutto withdrew from consideration after taking the job of interim president of OSU.

Alutto replaced OSU President E. Gordon Gee, who retired after making insensitive remarks about Catholics, the University of Notre Dame, and some southern colleges.

Perkins said it wasn't a panic moment, but disappointing because of Alutto's experience, "particularly in the area of higher education."

The board will resume the search for a permanent superintendent in the fall, with the hope of having someone selected by the first of the year.

She had much praise for Good, who hasn't indicated whether he will seek the permanent position.

"We have someone who is going to be outstanding," Perkins said. "I say that because of his previous work experience.

"He has had a great rapport with the community, working with parents," she said.

"He's also been successful with passing three levies and I believe his body of work has prepared him to work here in the district."

Good has served as superintendent of the Westerville City School District for the past five and a half years, earning $189,000 plus benefits in his most recent contract.

In Westerville, he's crediting with leading the district through a "visioning" process, during which it created a mission statement and goals on which all district actions are based.

Good also led the district through the passage of three levies, as well as through a dramatic reduction in budget and programs after the failure of a levy in November 2011.

Good was under contract with Westerville through 2015, but he said he chose to retire early because of a potential negative impact to his personal finances as a result of changes in the state's retirement system.

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