Friday, May 13, 2011

Superintendent Search - Finalists Announced

The Worthington Board of Education met in executive session on May 9 and selected four candidates to advance to our final round. Clicking on the candidates name will direct you to their application which would include biographical information as well as personal statements of why they are interested in the job. The candidates are:

1)  Dr. Trent Bowers - Assistant Superintendent Intern at Worthington City Schools.

2) Dr. Michele Evans - Superintendent, Canton City Schools.

3) Dr. Thomas Tucker - Superintendent, Licking Heights Local Schools.

4) Mr. Michael Trego - Deputy Superintendent, Dublin City Schools.

These four candidates will meet with the Board, a representative group of staff members and a representative group of community members on May 17 and May 18. Based on the results from those interviews, the board may name our next Superintendent at our May 23 meeting,  or, if the decision is close between two candidates, we may hold a forum for the public at large to weigh in.


  1. It's real simple...... Dr. Bowers or Michael Trego. Trego is asking for $160,000 minimum?? He is a former PE major that had a 2.4 GPA in college. He does have excellent credentials though. I am not sure the community will accept a 1st year superintendent being paid $160,000, and he may not be a very good fit. With an outsider, that is always an unknown until they start the new job. Will he bolt back to Dublin in a few years when Axner retires? Having said all of that, his resume is impressive, and it's possible he is a good candidate. 

    Dr. Bowers knows the community better than anyone, has an articulated vision specific to Worthington School's, is committed long term, and has asked for a modest $135,000. The fact that he asked for less than the current superintendent's salary helps illustrate his understanding of the community, and what they will accept. Also, Dr. Conrath will help ease the transition for him into the superintendency. Being an Assistant Superintendent in the same district makes it easier to sit in the Superintendent's seat..... Just move over one chair!

    I don't see the other two as viable candidates....... Just my opinion!!

  2. Thinking outside the boxMay 15, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    Clearly the person indicating Dr. Bowers is just moving one chair over has no idea what it’s like to be a Superintendent. While the writer indicates that Dr. Bowers’ familiarity with the district is an asset, it could also be a liability given the difficult growing pains the district has experienced. Dr. Bowers has never passed a levy, and although he may have a vision for the district, a fresh face is needed in Worthington.

    Dr. Tucker is a candidate worthy of the post. He is an experienced Superintendent with fresh ideas and unsurpassed credentials. Additionally, Dr. Tucker has passed two levies in a district of modest means. Given that Worthington is looking for a data-driven person to help continue its record of excellence, Dr. Tucker’s track record of using data to raise student achievement is unequalled by any of the other candidates. In just two years, Dr. Tucker has raised the district’s school report card rating out of continuous improvement – for the first time ever. The high school is poised to meet all 26 indicators, two schools are received excellent ratings, and Licking Heights North received the Excellent with Distinction designation. This is a testament to Dr. Tucker’s ability to lead a district, it’s staff, and most importantly, its students and their families.

    The writer is correct about Michael Trego asking for too much money given his lack of experience, and this will probably not fly. And by noting that Dr. Bowers is asking for a lower salary, the writer implies that money is the only consideration in Worthington. With Dr. Tucker’s experience he is likely to save the district more money than either of the other two candidates would save by taking a lower salary.

  3. Community LeaderMay 16, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    As a taxpayer, I want to know whether the Superintendent can do the job? I completely understand the significance of securing a top level superintendent whose salary will not put a strain on the budget…However, it is perhaps in the best interest of the district to select a candidate who has proven superior, leadership ability and change management initiative that will make a difference in the lives of students, staff and community members.

    Dr. Thomas S. Tucker knows how to lead a district despite budgetary constraints. Prior to Dr. Tucker joining Licking Heights Local School District, the district had never been ranked higher than “continuous improvement” by the Ohio Department of Education. After his first year, the District was ranked “excellent” and is now one of the highest performing Districts in Licking County.

    It is a fact that Dr. Tucker was successful in passing a 12 mill levy (3 mills of new money) despite challenging economic times; it is a fact, he continues to build partnership and alliances with businesses such as the New Albany Company to support the academic needs for the Licking Heights School district; and it is a fact, that he is able to challenge his students, who know him, to achieve academic success despite budgetary pressure and challenges of diversity.

    So it’s simple to me…. The selected candidate has to know how to put a plan in action, embrace diversity, generate funds for the district and understand the true philosophy of being a superintendent, which is to have a vision for the district, implement proven winning methodology and inspire others to great heights.

  4. After reviewing the application of Mr. Trego, I think some liberties were taken in his accomplishments that are actually those of others in Dublin. His statement about the complications with one of the superintendents and how he was the constant for the district is strictly not right and what a terrible defamation of that superintendent's character. Why are all of his references only board members and his boss? What about the countless others he has worked with and for all those years? Maybe there is a reason he didn't list them.

  5. Bowers was an HR Coordinator for a few years at the WEC. Suddenly promoted to Assistant Superintendent. He hasn't even done the Assistant job yet, and now he wants to move into the Superintendent job? He isn't quite qualified. He needs a few years under his belt yet. Yes he is vested in the community because he will be here for the long run with his younger kids, however, I would hope anyone they choose would have the same investment in the community of Worthington.

  6. I think Dr. Bowers has been serving in a dual role as HR Director/Assistant Superintendent?

  7. I hope people really don't think Dr Tucker changed Licking Heights. Yes, it is true they are receiving excellent ratings and have passed their last 3 levies; however there is also a change in the population and makeup of the district, which has nothing to do with Dr Tucker. The Licking Heights school district had hundreds and hundreds of houses built 10+ years ago during the housing boom. Many of those were starter houses with very young family, or couples just starting their families. Guess what as a result 10+ years later those kids are in school, and the district has become one of the fastest growing districts in the state. As a result the area is moving away from a farm district to a suburban district, with more educated parents and thus, more involved parents in academics and school funding. Please tell me you don't really believe within a few weeks of being in the district Dr Tucker raised test scores, he isn't God. As for passing levies, have you ever been involved with a levy, the superintendent is not out pounding the pavement to pass the levy, it is the school board and levy committee that should be given the credit. When you read the accomplishments you need to evaluate whether the candidate really had a hand in that accomplishment or whether they are just taking credit for it.

  8. Lost all respect for you Marc.

    This entire farce of a search for the replacement is not like anything Worthington has ever done before.

    People on the list that have absolutely no qualifications at all, those that were highly qualified arbitrarily eliminated.

    You will be voted out next election, and any further political career you aspire to has been crushed.

    You do not know the people you are messing with. You'll find out soon enough though.

  9. Marc,

    Have you thought about going to the local resident hang outs and get their opinions on the 4? You might learn a lot if you go to Canton, Dublin and Pataskala. The blog posters are very pro or very con. You need to ask the regular guy.

  10. In addition to talking with "regular guys" in the respective districts and contacting district employees beyond the references provided by the candidates, the Worthington Board of Education should be asking some questions about the objectivity of the search firm (ESCCO) they hired. It appears that there are questions about the claims of success made in the applications/resumes of the two candidates, Mr. Trego and Dr. Tucker; these candidates were recruited at the last minute by ESCCO. If these candidates take credit for the work of others, would they really be that good at leading Worthington's own very competent team? And this talk about "taking the district to the next level"--wasn't Dr. Conrath engaged in this kind of work during her entire tenure? This sort of talk suggests a tone deafness about the long-term accomplishments of the district and its current leadership team.