Whitehall News

New superintendent search narrowed to six

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One Whitehall administrator and a former administrator are among the six being considered for the school district's superintendent job.

After examining 39 applications last week during round two of the selection process, Whitehall school board members narrowed the list to six during a closed-door session. They expect to have their final selection completed by March 23.

Board president Walter Armes said he and the other two board members have prioritized their duties in light of the sudden resignation of former board member Brandon Howard and his mother, Ronda Howard, late last month. He said the three members would choose the district's next superintendent before moving on to select two new board members.

All seats are expected to be filled by the end of the month, he said.

The three-member board met in special session March 12 to review 17 applications for the board's two open seats.

The district received the Howards' letters of resignation Feb. 28 and unanimously accepted them March 4. Blythe Wood was selected as the board's new vice president during the meeting.

The final six candidates for superintendent are Gary Barber, assistant superintendent for Big Walnut Local School District; Brian Hamler, director of certificated personnel at South-Western City Schools and Whitehall's former director of personnel' Todd Hug, superintendent, Ayersville Local Schools in Defiance; Cheryl Spain, principal at Beechwood Elementary School in Whitehall; John Stanford, deputy superintendent at Columbus City Schools; and Jeffry Talbert, assistant superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.

Board members voted Feb. 14 to relaunch their search, saying they weren't satisfied with the 37 candidates who originally applied for the position in January.

Longtime Superintendent Judyth Dobbert-Meloy last year announced her plans to retire. She held the job in Whitehall for some 13 years but said she would not retire until the new high school is finished in the summer.

Of the 39 who applied in round two, 22 were new candidates. Seventeen were candidates who reapplied.

Hamler and Stanford were among the original candidates.

Armes said he is confident the school board would make a selection by the end of the month.

"We think there's a superintendent (in this list)," he said.

A month ago, the board narrowed the list of 37 original candidates to seven and then to three.

Discussions about scrapping the entire list were held in executive session Feb. 14.

Armes announced last week that according to state law, all three remaining board members must agree on a new superintendent, that a simple majority would not apply in this case.

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