The former head of Oberlin Schools is caught in a quagmire in his search for a new job.
Geoff Andrews, who served as the district’s superintendent from 2006 to 2011, is being considered as the next superintendent of Fairview Park Schools. However, that appointment, announced in April, is being reconsidered as the Fairview Park school board meets to determine if Andrews’ failure to disclose when he lost his last job should have any bearing on the offer.
The superintendent search, handled through the Ohio School Boards Association, began in late winter/early spring. When Andrews applied in March, he listed his current job as the head of the Western Academy of Beijing in China.
However, he apparently lost that position in August.
According to a notice posted on the school’s website from that time and signed by the school’s board chairman Michael Christiansen, 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,” the memo to parents read.
Joe Shucofsky, Fairview Park board president, forwarded all calls to district director of communications Leah Nemeth.
Kathy LaSota, director of school board services for the Ohio School Boards Association, said the search resulted in 35 applicants presented to the Fairview Park board. They have not been contacted to do another search.
“The board is aware and is discussing the situation to determine the next step they want to take. That’s where they are at now,” LaSota said.
LaSota said the typical OSBA candidate search was utilized in Fairview Park, including recruitment through a number of groups and organizations. At no time was Andrews singled out as the lead candidate.
She said the Fairview Park board received Andrews’ information as it was submitted and beyond just basic background checks by the OSBA, it is up to the hiring board to conduction the official background check, including references and verifying prior employment.
LaSota said the application form provided by the OSBA has a box listed next to each previous employment entry asking if the school board can contact a former employer. Next to the entry related to the Western Academy of Beijing, Andrews checked no.
Media reports from earlier this month indicate Andrews was the only candidate interviewed by Fairview Park and the district made him an offer soon after.
An April 8 news release from Fairview Park Schools lauds Andrews as the right choice to lead the school.
“Based on our community and staff feedback, our detailed search process centered around finding a successful and demonstrated leader with a specific skill set, intellect and background. Andrews’ extensive experience in technology and incredible passion for student-centered education provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our district. As educators, we have to prepare our students for a global, connected society, and Geoffrey could not be a better fit for Fairview,” Shucofsky said.
Andrews is scheduled to begin the job in August with a starting salary of more than $150,000 a year.