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Branham to serve as Lorain Schools' interim leader


LORAIN — Nine years after serving as Lorain Schools interim superintendent, John Branham has retaken the job after being appointed today at the special Board of Education meeting.

Branham, who left his job as Ashland University director of graduate studies, also previously served as director of staff and community relations for the Lorain school district between 1996 and 2002, and as an assistant principal between 1979 and 1986 at the former Admiral King High School.

Branham, who will earn $130,000 and will serve until mid-July, said getting the 1.5 percent earned income tax levy passed in November is his top priority. The district faces an $11.35 million projected deficit in the 2012-13 school year without passage of the levy.

“It’s going to be essential for this thing to pass,” said Branham, 65. “Given the economic situation of the community, it’s not going to be an easy task to accomplish.”

Branham, who starts work Saturday, succeeds Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson, who has been appointed superintendent of DeKalb County Schools in Georgia.

Atkinson thanked staff and the community after board members today accepted her resignation, which is effective at the end of the week.

“Thank you for the opportunity and thank you for the support,” Atkinson said to applause. “It’s been a privilege.”

See Wednesday’s Chronicle-Telegram for the full story.

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