Three finalists have been chosen from a field of 23 applicants in the search for Upper Arlington's next superintendent of schools.
District leaders had chosen four semifinalists but narrowed the list to three after interview sessions on Feb. 1 and 2.
Treasurer Andy Geistfeld announced the three finalists late on Monday, Feb. 4. They are:
* Paul Craft, superintendent at Delaware City Schools.
* Paul Imhoff, superintendent at Mariemont City Schools near Cincinnati.
* Kyle Ramey, director of instructional services at Kettering City Schools.
Interviewed but not chosen as a finalist was Mark Tompkins, superintendent at Harbor Springs Public Schools in Michigan.
Other local residents who applied included George Joseph, executive director of administrative services for Worthington City Schools; and John Stanford, deputy superintendent of Columbus City Schools.
Two Ohio Department of Education employees also applied for the UA post: Associate Superintendent James Herrholtz and Michael Sawyers, acting superintendent/deputy superintendent of public instruction.
The remaining applicants were: Vincent Colaluca, superintendent at Austintown Local Schools; Thomas Gay, educational consultant at Faircloth and Forsythe; John Grahovac, formerly the head of a charter school in Youngstown; Thomas Haley, formerly executive director of high schools for Roanoke City Schools; Michael Hanlon, superintendent at Painesville City Local Schools; Douglas Heuer, superintendent at Cleveland Heights City Schools; Kathleen Jenney, superintendent at Galion City Schools; Melanie Kerber, middle school principal in the Sto-Rox school district in Allegheny County, Pa.; Paul Mielke, high school principal at West Allis-West Milwaukee Schools; Scott Nelson, assistant superintendent at Sylvania Schools; Carlotta Redish, assistant superintendent at Cherokee County Schools in Georgia; Richard Rundhaug, superintendent at Willcox Unified Schools in Arizona; Richard Smith, superintendent at North Union Local Schools; Arthur Stellar, a self-employed consultant/writer; and Sean Yisrael, high school principal in District of Columbia Public Schools.
Dan Donovan, director of communication, said the district will hold several public meetings so that staff members and the community may meet the finalists.
"The finalists will meet with participants in last fall's focus groups and various school groups, including classified and certified staff on Feb. 11, 12 and 13," he said.
The general public may meet the finalists at 4 p.m. Feb. 11, 12 or 13 at Mountview Baptist Church, 2140 Fishinger Road.
Donovan said the Upper Arlington Board of Education meeting that would normally be scheduled for Feb. 11 will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Central Office, 1950 North Mallway Drive.
Current Upper Arlington Superintendent Jeff Weaver will retire on July 31.
Craft, in his third year as superintendent at Delaware City Schools, is no stranger to Upper Arlington. He was executive director of business services from 2006-2010; assistant principal at Upper Arlington High School from 2004-2006 and was a science teacher at the high school from 1992-2004.
His current annual salary with Delaware City Schools is $145,000.
Craft is also a colonel and commander of the 16th Engineer Brigade in the Ohio Army National Guard. His application states that his mandatory service obligation with the National Guard is complete and that he is eligible for retirement.
Among the accomplishments mentioned on his application are a Bronze Star for service in a combat zone during his deployment to Afghanistan; being at the helm of Delaware City Schools when the district received its first and second excellent with distinction ratings on the state report card and taking a leadership role in bringing the International Baccalaureate Program to Upper Arlington High School.
Craft said his daughter still attends Upper Arlington Schools and that his son graduated from Upper Arlington High School.
Imhoff, in his sixth year as superintendent at Mariemont City Schools, also served in the Ohio Army National Guard from 1987 to 1993. He taught at Pickerington Junior High School from 1994-1997, then held principal and assistant principal positions at Mapleton Local Schools, Madeira City Schools and Wyoming City Schools from 1998 to 2003. He served as assistant superintendent in Madeira for four years before accepting the Mariemont position in 2007.
Among the accomplishments listed in his application are "implementing one-to-one technology program in grades 2-12 for all students;" successfully implementing a $40-million facilities master plan; implementing new communication strategies and achieving a top 15 ranking or higher in Ohio each year based upon the performance index score on the state report card.
Imhoff's annual salary in his current position is $170,000.
Ramey has been director of instructional services at Kettering City Schools for two years. Before that, he served as director of human resources for four years and was principal at Kettering Middle School from 2002-2006. He also had stints as unit principal at Fairmont High School and science teacher at Graham Local Schools.
He is a part-time instructor at the University of Dayton in School Law and was an adjunct professor at Wright State University from 2000-2010.
Among accomplishments listed on his application are his district receiving excellent with distinction on the state report card and receiving the Significant Progress Award from Battelle for Kids for outstanding student growth. Also listed is "facilitating a peaceful reduction of nearly 80 staff positions which resulted in a savings to the district of over $10 million."
Ramey's current annual salary is $138,600.