Hilliard City Schools losing Superintendent John Marschhausen to Dublin City Schools

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

One school district's gain is another's loss, as John Marschhausen, superintendent of Hilliard City Schools since 2013, is moving to the neighboring Dublin City Schools, where he once interviewed before taking the Hilliard position instead.

Dublin Board of Education members on April 5 voted to hire Marschhausen, who said he will resign as superintendent of Hilliard schools at the end of the day April 30.

Hilliard was expected to begin its search for a successor to Marschhausen on April 12, naming Wade Lucas, a former central Ohio superintendent, as interim superintendent, effective May 1, and selecting the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio to conduct a search, according to Hilliard Board of Education President Lisa Whiting.

John Marschhausen

Lucas has been serving as interim superintendent for Dublin schools since shortly after Superintendent Todd Hoadley announced his resignation March 8 and will remain as such until April 30.

Dublin City Schools' gain

Marschhausen will serve as an interim superintendent of Dublin schools beginning May 1 and officially begin serving as the district’s permanent superintendent Aug. 1, according to the resolution by the Dublin school board April 5.

Marschhausen's five-year contract with the Dublin school district is effective Aug. 1, 2021, through July 31, 2026, and provides him with a starting annual base salary of $195,000.

The contract provides for "incentive pay" equal to 2% of the base salary for each of the five standards the board determines to have been met during annual performance reviews, according to the contract.

The district will pay 85% of the cost to provide family health, dental and vision insurance and a full contribution toward the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, per the contract.

No public-comment session was included in the April 5 meeting, but board president Chris Valentine said public comment was allowed during the board's regular meeting March 22.

More:Hilliard Superintendent John Marschhausen applies at Dublin City Schools

Hoadley, whom the district is offering a new administrative contract in a different capacity, effective Aug. 1, will remain as the district’s official superintendent through July 31, the end of his current contract, said district treasurer Brian Kern.

The district also will continue to employ Lucas, a former superintendent, most recently of Olentangy Local School District, as Dublin’s interim superintendent through April 30, Kern said.

“We targeted (Marschhausen) as our candidate,” Valentine said.

Marschhausen interviewed for superintendent of Dublin City Schools in 2013 to succeed David Axner but, at the same time, also interviewed for superintendent of Hilliard schools to succeed Dale McVey.

After Hilliard offered him the job, Marschhausen said, he withdrew from consideration for the Dublin position.

“That a district with the prestige and reputation of Dublin” would seek me as superintendent “is an honor,” Marschhausen said.

Four of the five Dublin board members – all but Rick Weininger – were on the board in 2013 when Marschhausen first interviewed.

"Eight years ago, I was hoping that we could hire Dr. Marschhausen, so it's kind of been an eight-year interview. I'm sure he is the leader that we need for the district now," board member Lynn May said.

Marschhausen said the experience he has gained as superintendent of Hilliard schools for those eight years has prepared him "for the opportunity of a new chapter."

Marschhausen told board members the district would not have sought him out “if there wasn’t a lot of work to do.”

“I believe I’m a better candidate today than I would have been in 2013,” Marschhausen said.

Valentine agreed.

“We were impressed then and are even more impressed now,” Valentine told Marschhausen before the board’s unanimous decision to hire him.

Valentine said he had taken the lead in reaching out to Marschhausen after Hoadley on March 8 announced his resignation.

Hoadley's current contract for superintendent 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.

Valentine said although Marschhausen was the “targeted” candidate, the district still needed to prepare itself in the event no agreement could be reached with Marschhausen.

“We didn’t know how the process would go,” said Valentine, adding that Dublin was aware that Hilliard had offered a contract extension to Marschhausen.

On March 18, during a special board meeting, the district approved a contract for an amount not to exceed $8,000 for K-12 Business Consulting Inc. to assist in the superintendent search.

Also on March 18, all five board members met with Marschhausen in an executive session, or closed meeting, with the stated reason being to consider "the employment of a public employee or official."

On March 25, Marschhausen interviewed with the district's internal and external committees, Valentine said.

The district had solicited "stakeholders" for the singular purpose of interviewing Marschhausen, and they constituted members of the external and internal committees, Baker said.

Members of both committees included but were not limited to city officials, such as City Council members, the mayor’s office and the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the school district’s PTO and the committee on diversity, equity and inclusion, building principals and teachers and those representing the district’s certified and classified employees, Valentine said.

"We wanted them to meet (Marschhausen) and give feedback. It was the biggest committee group for a search that we've used in the last 25 years," he said.

There was a “strong consensus” among both committees to choose Marschhausen, Valentine said.

Hilliard City Schools' loss

With Marschhausen's departure, the Hilliard school board will undertake its own search for a superintendent.

Pending approval by the Hilliard Board of Education on April 12, the district’s plan is to work with two experienced educators “to ensure stability and continuity,” according to a news release the district sent minutes after Marschhausen’s hiring in Dublin was official.

Whiting identified those individuals as Lucas and McVey.

“We will ask Dr. Wade Lucas to step in as interim superintendent. (He) is a seasoned superintendent who specializes in working with districts in transition,” Whiting said.

Also on April 12, the board was expected to consider having the district’s superintendent search conducted by the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, under the direction of McVey, who had served as Hilliard’s superintendent for 15 years prior to Marschhausen, Whiting said.

“Dr. Marschhausen has made an incredible impact on our students, staff and community. It is with bittersweet emotions that we wish (him) well on his next step,” Whiting said.

Marschhausen previously was superintendent at Loveland City School District near Cincinnati from 2010 to 2013 and at East Knox Local School District from 2005 to 2010.

On June 11, 2018, Hilliard board members voted 4-0 to extend Marschhausen's contract by two years, through July 31, 2023.

In a June 1, 2018, letter, Marschhausen wrote, “I am offering to terminate my current contract with the board (July 31) provided the board of education reemploys me on a contract effective Aug. 1, 2018, through July 31, 2023, per the terms discussed.”

The contract extension maintained an annual 2% raise but added other benefits, Stacie Raterman, a spokeswoman for the district, said at the time.

A 10% annuity was increased to 13% of his base salary; that amount was $169,700 at the start of his contract Aug. 1, 2016.

In January 2015, Marschhausen signed a contract for Aug. 1, 2016, through July 31, 2021. In June 2018, he signed a contract for Aug. 1, 2018, through July 31, 2023.

His current base salary is $183,790, Raterman said.

Marschhausen and his wife, Susan, an elementary school teacher in Dublin schools, have two daughters, Emily and Jordan, who have been with him “on every step of this journey” as “we start the next chapter in our lives serving the Dublin community,” Marschhausen told Dublin board members.

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