South-Western's David Stewart chosen as next Hilliard superintendent

A. Kevin Corvo
ThisWeek group

The Hilliard City Schools board has selected David Stewart to become the district's next superintendent, succeeding John Marschhausen, who resigned April 30 to become superintendent of neighboring Dublin City Schools.

Stewart is deputy superintendent for the South-Western City School District, where he has served for eight years, but he has a history with Hilliard.

David Stewart has been chosen as the next superintendent of Hilliard City Schools.

Stewart was the principal of Hilliard Darby High School from 2004-08, and in 2008, he was tasked with opening Hilliard Bradley High School in 2009. He was Bradley's principal until 2013.

Board members made the hire official May 17 with a unanimous resolution.

"I am incredibly excited to be trusted with this incredible opportunity," Stewart said.

Upon learning Marschhausen was departing, Stewart said, there was an "immediate" interest on his part.

He said "there was conversation both ways," but there "was no question about my interest."

Board member Mark Abate said hiring Stewart is an "amazing win" for the district.

"(Stewart) has been here with Hilliard as an employee and an administrator, (but) more importantly, he got experience as a superintendent (at South-Western), and that showed through with us," Abate said.

"By marrying those things, (Stewart) will have an incredible impact."

The final terms of a contract are yet to be executed, Abate said.

Board members met in a closed executive session after the regular meeting to discuss personnel issues, Abate said.

Stewart, who has a master's degree in education administration from Ashland University and a bachelor's degree from Miami University, is expected to begin his employment July 1, according to the district.

Board President Lisa Whiting, in a statement, said Stewart “proved himself to be the best choice for Hilliard.”

“Our community told us they wanted a superintendent with a proven academic track record and who knows the Hilliard community," she said. "David fit the profile of what our community, staff and board were looking for. We are excited to bring him on board."

Board Vice President Brian Perry said the board is "excited to announce the selection" of Stewart, pending contract negotiations.

"David impressed us with his commitment to academic success, his passion for education and his humility when discussing his accomplishments," Perry told ThisWeek on May 13.

Stewart replaces Marschhausen, who had been in Hilliard since 2013 and accepted the position of interim superintendent for Dublin, a job he began May 1.

Marschhausen will become Dublin’s full-time superintendent Aug. 1 after current Superintendent Todd Hoadley transitions into a different administrative role for the district.

Marschhausen's base annual salary upon departing Hilliard was $183,790. The value of his benefits were equivalent to 35% of his base salary, according to the district, which would be roughly $64,000.

Wade Lucas began serving as Hilliard's interim superintendent May 1.

According to a contract executed by the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio between Lucas and the school board, Lucas' compensation is a salary of $1,100 per day.

The contract's terms include State Teacher Retirement System contributions, the board's share of statutory benefits and a 4% fiscal fee, which equates to a daily expense of $1,534.

The contract estimates 61 days of service from May 3 to July 31.

It is likely that the contract of Lucas will end June 30, but it will depend on when Stewart would begin his tenure as superintendent, said Stacie Raterman, director of communications for the district.

For the superintendent search, the board met in closed executive sessions May 7 and 12.

The board chose its superintendent with the assistance of the ESC, according to Raterman.

The ESC had provided six candidates to the board for consideration, but Stewart was not among them:

• Vickie L. Cartwright, superintendent of Oshkosh Area School District in Wisconsin.

• Matthew W. Chrispin, superintendent of Bucyrus City Schools.

• Phillipa R. Craft, a Columbus City Schools teacher and a former assistant superintendent at A+ Arts Academy.

• Kenneth W. DeMoss, a principal for Wood County Schools in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

• Martha A. Hasselbusch, a principal for Cincinnati Public Schools.

• Robert A. Lundin, a strategic consultant for Burns Van Fleet Educational Consulting in Houston, Texas.

The six candidates provided to the Hilliard board are those who applied via the ESC portal and for which there is a public record, said David Varda, CFO and treasurer of the ESC.

Perry told ThisWeek on May 12 that the "board will be paring that list down between now and the 24th," when another executive session was scheduled.

He said the board was not required to limit itself to the six candidates under review from the ESC, however.

The board can "continue its search if board members feel it would be in the best interests of the community," Perry said.

As it happened, the job was offered May 13 to Stewart.

Although only six applications were received, the district’s search went farther, Raterman said.

“There were other people who conferred with the ESC team and some that were targeted by the team, but no others filled out an application,” Raterman said.

No other lists or records exist, Raterman said. The meeting on May 12 was an executive session to consider the appointment or employment of a public employee so no other information will be released, she said.

When asked how Stewart got on the district’s radar, Perry referred to the district’s news release that it resulted from a national search.

“We want to respect the confidentiality of individuals who ultimately decided not to apply but were considered,” Perry said.

The district’s news release said, “There were multiple applicants, along with a targeted search of several others, including superintendents."

A salary range being offered to Stewart is not quantified in a dollar amount, according to the ESC and Raterman.

No salary range was included when the ESC posted the position, according to Joseph Weitz, policy and communications coordinator for the ESC.

The vacancy announcement stated “actual salary and benefits will be commensurate with the education and experience of the candidate.” Weitz said.

Raterman also said the salary will be based on education and experience.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo