Whitehall News

Jan. 9 forums

Whitehall district seeks input on future superintendent


Leaders in the Whitehall City School District’s search for a new superintendent are looking for staff and community input and plan to hold several forums this month to gather those ideas.

The one-hour staff and community focus groups will be held Jan. 9 at the district offices, with separate time frames to accommodate different groups.

A forum for district administrators will be held from 1 to 2 p.m.; another for classified staff will run from 3 to 4 p.m.; a third for certified staff will be held from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.; and a final time slot for community input is slated for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

According to Kathy LaSota, director of school board services for OSBA, the discussions will focus on major issues facing the district in the next three to five years, as well as professional qualities, skills and experience essential for a superintendent’s success and personal characteristics essential in the next superintendent.

LaSota said she would provide school board members with a detailed account of the conversations to help them in their screening and selection process.

Longtime Superintendent Judyth Dobbert-Meloy earlier this year announced her plans to retire after 13 years with the district.

Dobbert-Meloy handed board members her letter of resignation in August during an executive session meant to discuss her annual review. She said she would not leave, though, until the district’s construction project is completed and the final building, Whitehall-Yearling High School, has been dedicated.

As part of the search being conducted by the Ohio School Boards Association, the district will host community and staff focus groups in an effort to get feedback from others about the attributes they want in a new superintendent.

LaSota said marketing materials and job information have been sent to more than 3,000 entities in Ohio and other parts of the country, including public school districts, higher-education institutions and other education-related agencies, along with individuals who have shown interest in the area in an effort to net the perfect match for Whitehall.

As part of that search, she also would like to gather input from those closest to the district — its teachers and stakeholders — in an effort to help with the selection process.

Applications for the superintendent’s position are being accepted through Jan. 16, LaSota said, with screenings set for late January at the OSBA offices.

LaSota is expected to return to school board members by Jan. 24 with a list of eight to 10 solid candidates. She said the school board then would conduct interviews Jan. 30 through Feb. 22, with the hopes of making a final selection by March 15.

Those who would like to participate but are unable to attend also may email LaSota at klasota@ohioschoolboards.org.