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Fisk applies for school super job 'closer to home'

Cary Ashby • Updated Jun 15, 2018 at 10:55 PM

Norwalk City Schools Superintendent George Fisk has applied for a similar position in Dennison.

The Claymont City Schools board of education will interview eight superintendent candidates to replace John Rocchi, who has taken a job with the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center, according to the TimesReporter.com. Board president Michelle Sproul could not be reached for comment Friday.

“My application to Claymont is based on my desire to be closer to home. Claymont is located in Tuscarawas County, which is where I spent the early years of my educational career,” Fisk said.

Before coming to Norwalk, he was the superintendent of East Palestine City Schools for two years. From 1998 to 2007, Fisk was a teacher in the Tuscarawas Valley Local School District, serving at Mineral City Elementary and the middle school in Zoarville.

Norwalk hired Fisk on a three-year contract and he started Aug. 1, 2015. He later agreed to a five-year contract that runs through July 31, 2023.

“I am proud to have partnered with our amazing NCSD staff over my past three contractual years to have created STEM programming opportunities in grades two through 12, upgraded the instructional materials in most subject areas, continuing to work on improving the security of our buildings by establishing strong relationships with our dedicated Norwalk first responders, settlement in January of a contract with our educators in three meetings prior to the contract’s expiration for the first time in many years, improved our academic performance on 19 of 23 indicators last year and preliminarily passed an additional two indicators on this year’s (state) report card, which should put NCSD near the top of Huron County districts in indicators met,” Fisk said in a prepared statement.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

“In spite of the challenges placed upon us, I appreciate being a part of the improved climate and cultural change that is occurring in our buildings and classrooms,” Fisk said.

Claymont board members met in executive session Tuesday to review the applications and decide which candidates they want to interview, said Cheryl Ryan, director of board and management services with the Ohio School Boards Association. Ryan is helping with the process.

This isn’t the first time Fisk has applied for another superintendent position.

About six months after he started his Norwalk job, Fisk was one of 15 candidates who applied to be superintendent of North Canton City Schools. In 1992, he graduated from Canton McKinley High School. Jeff Wendorf, previously the Lake Local Schools superintendent, ended up getting the job.

Fisk, when asked earlier why applied for the North Canton position, he said it was an “opportunity to return home” and allow his daughter to see her paternal grandmother more often. His daughter was 5 months old at the time.

“(She) only gets to see her grandmother once or twice a month. As a family, that’s a hard thing to grapple with,” Fisk said at the time.

With one year left on his Norwalk contract in March 2017, the school board voted 4-1 to give Fisk a five-year contract. After a lengthy closed-door executive session, the board approved a 2-percent raise and increased Fisk’s annual salary from $130,000 to $132,600. The contract goes from Aug. 1, 2018 through July 31, 2023.

Board member Steve Linder was unhappy with the pact, saying the board didn’t have anything to gain from it.

“I said make it a three-year contract with measurable goals and if those measurable goals are met, then we can consider another three years. You work with the board and we work with you. It has to go both ways. As it is, it’s a one-sided street,” Linder said at the time.

Claymont will begin interviews Tuesday and a second round will be conducted during the week of July 2. The board is expected to take action to employ someone during the week of July 9. The new superintendent will begin work about Aug. 1.

Besides Fisk, the other candidates are:

• Jack Cunningham, principal of North Elementary in East Liverpool City Schools

• Michael Diamond, director of human resources for North Olmstead City Schools

• Elizabeth DiDonato, elementary school principal for Claymont City Schools for more than 18 years

• Scott Golec, assistant principal in the Rolling Hills Local School District in Byesville

• Matthew McCorkle, federal programs coordinator for Washington Court House City Schools

• Jodie Miles, curriculum director of Claymont City Schools

• Brian Rentsch, superintendent of Frontier Local Schools in Washington County

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