FAIRVIEW PARK — The one-time head of Oberlin Schools will not take the reins in Fairview Park.
After news surfaced that former Oberlin Superintendent Geoff Andrews was less than truthful about his employment in Beijing, China, following his stint in Oberlin, the Fairview Park school board decided to withdraw its offer to hire Andrews.
At a school board meeting Monday, Fairview Park school board President Joe Shucofsky addressed community members by saying the board would continue the superintendent search and will let lawyers decide what to do about the contract the district signed with Andrews.
“There is no sugar-coating the fact that we could have some difficult legal challenges ahead of us,” Shucofsky said in a statement. “While we made an offer to Mr. Andrews to be our superintendent and he accepted that offer, we firmly believe he breached his duty to be fully open and transparent with us. At this moment in time, we don’t have a crystal ball. We can’t tell you exactly how and when this is going to be resolved. That’s for the lawyers to sort out. However, we can assure you that Geoff Andrews will not be joining us as superintendent on Aug. 1.”
When Andrews applied in March, he listed his current job as the head of the Western Academy of Beijing in China. However, he lost that position in August 2013.
The timeline did not match the information Andrews submitted to the Ohio School Boards Association when applying for the leadership position in Fairview Park.
Shucofsky acknowledged the discrepancy should have been addressed long before an offer was made to Andrews.
“In hindsight, I should have pressed Mr. Andrews for more information on what he characterized as a developing ‘situation’ in China,” he said. “I should have worked harder to fight through his insistence that he was unable to talk further about that situation. I will forever regret not doing so and because of that, I owe my fellow board members and our community a huge apology.”
Shucofsky said until the resume inconsistency came to light, the board was happy to hire Andrews.
“We all met with Geoff Andrews and I will tell you, he is a very sharp, accomplished teacher, educator and educational specialist,” he said. “Based on the reports we had on him from various sources, it was the collective opinion of the board — and my opinion as well — that he was the superintendent we wanted in Fairview Park. In fact, the term ‘rock star’ was used to describe him by our search consultant from the Ohio School Boards Association. I agreed. He did seem like a rock star.”
Exactly why Andrews left China has not been disclosed. The international school has said only that Andrews was let go because of differing opinions on how the school should be run.
“Due to differences in approach to vision, direction and strategy, Mr. Geoff Andrews is no longer the Director of WAB,” a memo to WAB parents posted on the school’s website read.