October 24, 2014

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Ridgeville names new superintendent

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The new North Ridgeville Schools superintendent knows the school district well.

Jim Powell was unanimously appointed by Board of Education members Wednesday night. Powell, assistant superintendent/director of curriculum and instruction, succeeds Superintendent Larry Brown on Jan. 2. Powell, 55, was hired in 2002 by the district as a math teacher at North Ridgeville High School and also served as principal of Lear Elementary School and the North Ridgeville Education Center.

Powell said his main focus will be on maintaining academics in the district ,which has shed about 100 employees in the last few years because of budget cuts. The district received an excellent rating in its latest state report card.

“Our teachers have done a really good job under difficult times maintaining that (curriculum) focus,” he said. “We want to continue that.”

Powell, who will earn $118,000 in his new position plus incentives, said other priorities will be upcoming contract negotiations with teachers and custodial staff as well as bringing back elective classes to the high school. Electives were reduced as part of the cuts.

Brown, hired in mid-2011 and given a three-year contract, is leaving early to become Wauseon Schools superintendent. Brown cited unspecified personal and professional reasons for his departure, which came just before voters approved a 10-year, 5.9 mill property tax levy.

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