LAGRANGE — Keystone’s Franco Gallo, the superintendent since 2015, is leaving the district to become the new superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Lorain County, effective Aug. 1.
Gallo, 38, will replace Greg Ring, who announced his retirement in February.
The move takes Gallo from being the leader of one district of 1,600 students to an agency that serves 14 school districts in Lorain County.
Gallo received a three-year contract from the ESC Governing Board on Monday night with a base salary of $122,000.
Ring, who has been superintendent at the ESC for six years, has a salary of $126,300.
Gallo bested 11 other applicants for the job.
“In the search for the ESC superintendent, the Governing Board was looking for someone who had a variety of qualifications,” said Lois Von Gunten, board president. “Because the ESC services 14 school districts in Lorain County, as well as districts in surrounding counties, the superintendent must be knowledgeable of the differences and needs of the districts. Networking with the business community is also important. Communicating with the local legislators and keeping up with state issues is crucial. The Governing Board felt Franco Gallo was an outstanding candidate, with strengths in these areas.”
Educational Service Centers act as service providers for district on a contract basis that allow districts to tailor their needs to their respective student populations and communities. They provide professional development and other services including gifted and talented, special education, art and music. They administer local spelling bee events, speech-language-hearing services; preschool services; and professional fingerprinting and background checks.
One of Gallo’s goals as the new ESC superintendent will be to continue to pursue the organization’s work to offer social work services to area school districts.
“Greg (Ring) has been working to start offering social work to our schools,” Gallo said. “We will continue to look for ways in which we can support our school districts with those wrap-around services and continue to offer quality programs. We will also take a look at what we are doing now as an organization and how we can get one percent better every day. That is my motto.”
Keystone board member Renee Mezera said Gallo submitted his resignation recently and the board will vote to accept it at its next regular school board meeting 6 p.m. Monday in the Keystone High School conference room. Board members will meet in executive session to discuss starting the search process for a new superintendent.
Mezera spoke highly of Gallo, saying he was a wonderful leader of the district.
“He came in and really just got us to a good place, a good spot as a district,” she said. “We know this is a step up for him and a wonderful opportunity.”
Gallo started as the interim superintendent in 2015 when he was the high school principal, but assumed the lead role in the face of an investigation into then-Superintendent Jay Arbaugh.
“Keystone is a great school district and I have enjoyed my time here,” Gallo said. “I look forward to this new opportunity. I am going from working at an individual school district to now working with all the districts in the county. I like to problem-solve. Too often I see people working in their own individual silos. This new position will enable me to broaden the scope of what I do. I am education and business focused. I come from a business family and have always been business-minded.”