Pandemic-related stressors cited as Dublin City Schools Superintendent Todd Hoadley steps down

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

Dublin City Schools Superintendent Todd Hoadley is stepping down from his position but will remain with the district, according to the school board.

Hoadley announced the decision during the board’s March 8 meeting, at which Wade Lucas also was identified as the choice for interim superintendent.

Todd Hoadley is stepping down as superintendent of Dublin City Schools.

The school board voted 5-0 to accept the resignation as superintendent and offer Hoadley a new four-year administrative contract for a different post.

The board did not vote to name Lucas as interim superintendent March 8, said district spokesman Doug Baker.

"Timelines for both will have to followed up on," concerning formal actions for the announced changes, Baker said.

Hoadley's decision to resign involves COVID-19-related stressors, according to an announcement from school board President Chris Valentine.

“The last year has been stressful for everyone," Valentine said in a statement. "We’ve faced issues similar to other districts but also some unique to us.

"Those have included navigating education during a pandemic, political and social issues in the classroom and other challenges that face a large, high-achieving public school district like Dublin.

"In discussion with (Hoadley) about these stresses, it became clear that he is in need of a different challenge that would use his significant skills and experiences to help the district in a different capacity that would offer him a break from the spotlight and 24-7 obligations of a superintendent."

In a statement provided by Baker and read by Hoadley during the March 8 meeting, Hoadley said although he has enjoyed being a superintendent for 23 years, "it has become clear that the divisions in society have found their way into school governance in bigger and bolder ways."

"Last year saw much heated public debate over school policies surrounding COVID, whether and how school staff can advance political or social issues in classrooms, and other challenges facing large, high-achieving public school systems," Hoadley said in his statement. "In many cases, one vocal group wanted a particular outcome and another vocal group wanted a completely different outcome. They expressed their strong opinions in hundreds – perhaps thousands – of emails, phone calls, text messages, social-media posts, and personal conversations with me. I found myself frustrated during this passionate and – at times – angry public conflict."

Hoadley said he wants to work in a different capacity in which he can help students learn, grow and achieve.

"The board and I have mutually agreed that my next four years at Dublin City Schools will be more effective and provide the most value to the district if I work in a role within the administration that’s more behind the scenes, where I can support the work of other district leaders," Hoadley said.

In the coming weeks, Valentine said, Hoadley will "transition to his new role" and the district will "welcome" Lucas as interim superintendent.

Hoadley will fulfill his current contract set to expire July 31, Baker said.

He had a four-year contract that was set to begin Aug. 1, he said.

Instead, he will get a new four-year, 120-day-a-year administrative contract, with an annual salary of $125,000 for 120 days, Baker said. The "120-day" status of the new contract means that Hoadley will work 120 days of the year, according to Baker.

The new contract, also will have benefits worth roughly 30% of the annual salary, according to Baker. That would mean the value of benefits would be about $37,500.

Hoadley's current contract includes an annual salary of $187,695, with benefits for annuity, longevity, car allowance, retirement and Medicare worth $82,575 and health insurance worth $21,173, Baker said.

Lucas has served as superintendent of three districts, most recently for the Olentangy Local School District.

Baker said no information was available on the compensation that would be offered to Lucas.

Hoadley said he would help "the administrative team transition to a new superintendent over the next several months."

The district plans to begin a “transparent” and "nationwide" search for a new superintendent, Valentine said.

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Dublin for updates to this developing story.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo