Reynoldsburg City Schools' Superintendent Steve Dackin may be officially retiring July 31, but he will jump right back into what he says he loves best -- preparing students for college and career -- as superintendent of school and community partnerships at Columbus State Community College.
Dackin, 56, will start his new job in mid-August. The newly created position was funded by a $2.5-million grant from the J. P. Morgan Chase Foundation.
His annual salary will be $135,000. According to the college, Dackin will receive vacation and sick leave, but no other benefits.
"Columbus State has been a great partner for Reynoldsburg City Schools and between the two of us and other partners, we have been trying to make college more affordable for families," Dackin said. "I will be working on the goals of the Central Ohio Compact, which is a strategy to help bring more jobs to central Ohio."
Columbus State opened a regional learning center in January 2013 within BELL Academy at Reynoldsburg High School, allowing dual enrollment in college and high school courses for district students.
"This new role at Columbus State gives me the unique opportunity to use my knowledge and experience in the K-12 system to further develop college and career pathways for students," Dackin said.
Reynoldsburg was the first K-12 school to sign the Central Ohio Compact in September 2012. Now involving 15 central Ohio school districts, the Compact encourages area schools, college and business partnerships to provide affordable post-secondary education options.
The Compact's goal is to provide enough educational opportunities so that 60 percent of Ohioans obtain a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2025.
Dackin will help develop initiatives to attain that goal. He will also oversee established programs that include the AEP Credits Count program that provides career pathways for students in five Columbus City high schools; the Pathways to Prosperity program in the Reynoldsburg and Marysville districts that encourages workplace internships and dual enrollment in college and high school courses; and the FastPath/ Cougar Bridge program in the city of Columbus, which helps adults make the transition into the workforce.
Pam Bishop, executive director of the Columbus State Foundation, said she is happy to "have an experienced education leader at the helm."
"Steve Dackin will work to accelerate the alignment of regional workforce needs with educational pathways to ensure an increase in the number of students earning a post-secondary certificate or degree," she said.
Dackin said he has developed a "great partnership" with Columbus State President David Harrison.
"That partnership has brought a great vision to our region and a lot of K-12 partners and employers," Dackin said. "It has also brought many opportunities for kids to work toward post-secondary degrees."
Dackin said he will miss the people he has gotten to know in the Reynoldsburg district but is excited for the next chapter in his career.
"I have lived in Reynoldsburg for the past 18 years," he said. "Both my daughters have gone through Reynoldsburg schools and it is a pretty special place to me.
"It's difficult to leave Reynoldsburg schools, but I feel blessed to have been a part of it," he said. "The school district is in great hands. We have been fortunate over many years to have a board of education that understands the needs of the community."
The Reynoldsburg school board in January named Tina Thomas-Manning to succeed Dackin as superintendent.
Dackin has been superintendent in Reynoldsburg since 2007. Before that, he served two years as the district's assistant superintendent and as principal for six years at Reynoldsburg High School, beginning in 1995. He also was director of Ohio's regional school improvement services and was executive director of secondary curriculum and instruction for Westerville City Schools.