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Lorain Schools doesn't have superintendent anymore, but something close to it

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LORAIN — Superintendent Jeff Graham won’t be replaced by the Lorain school district, at least not in a traditional sense.

CEO David Hardy said the newly appointed Chief Schools Officer LaKimbre Brown will serve in a role similar to the role of a standard superintendent.

“It’s a comparable position, which she’ll start in the middle of March,” Hardy, who was appointed as the CEO of the district in July, said. “She’ll be getting the state licensure for superintendents to make sure that’s taken care of.”

Hardy noted Brown has served as the instructional superintendent of the Washington, D.C., school district since 2013. She was one of 48 people to apply for the Lorain schools position, which included applicants from places as far as Sacramento, Calif., and Boise, Idaho.

She beat out several internal candidates for the job, including the now-former director of elementary teaching and learning Marva Jones, Larkmoor Elementary School principal and candidate for lieutenant governor Chantelle Lewis, Toni Morrison Elementary School assistant principal Maureen Millett and Assistant Superintendent Stephen Sturgill.

Outgoing North Ridgeville Schools Superintendent Jim Powell also applied for the position.

Graham’s resignation was made official last week but, according to district records, Hardy accepted it as far back as December. Graham now serves as a consultant for the Lorain County Educational Services Center.

Brown’s annual salary will be $156,200, the same as what Graham was paid. Graham’s contract also had a $20,000 annuity, making his total annual contracted amount $176,200.

The lack of an official superintendent varies from the route the Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip took when developing the organization for his administration.

Youngstown school district spokeswoman Denise Dick said there are two mentions of a “district superintendent” in House Bill 70, the legislation that dictates how CEOs are put in charge of districts facing academic distress.

“We interpreted that as needing a superintendent,” she said.

Interim Superintendent Stephen Stohla had led the Youngstown district for about a year when Mohip was appointed. Stohla served out the remainder of his contract until June 30, at which point he was replaced by current Superintendent Joe Meranto.

In the Youngstown administration, Meranto acts as a liaison between the CEO and the school board.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieHNix.



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