Wednesday, April 05, 2000

Warren schools lose administrator

DeLuca leaving Springboro

Enquirer Contributor

        EATON, Ohio — Springboro Schools will lose another top administrator May 1 when Human Resources Director Joe DeLuca leaves to becomes superintendent of the Eaton Schools in Preble County.

        Joe DeLuca, an educator for the past 20 years, was hired as Springboro's junior high principal in 1993, a position he held for four years before being named director of human services.
        As superintendent of Eaton schools, he will have a three-year contract and earn $83,000 a year.
        He replaces interim Superintendent Edwin Leas, who has been Eaton superintendent nearly a year.
        Mr. DeLuca was hired as Eaton's superintendent Tuesdaymorning in a special meeting, said Virginia Welch, treasurer for the Eaton Schools.

        “My goal has always been to be a superintendent. Eaton is a fine district in a nice community with a tradition of good schools. I'm eager to get out there,” said Mr. DeLuca, 52, who received his superintendent certificate almost six years ago.

        “Leaving Springboro is bittersweet. Not only will I miss the staff but also the kids and families I have met here. I'll be leaving friendships behind.”

Tumult not a factor
        Leaving Springboro now was not prompted by the recent tumult that led to last month's resignations of Superintendent Gary Meier and Treasurer Pam Ashbaugh, Mr. DeLuca said.

        His application to become superintendent of the 2,400-pupil district was submitted in February, and he had been chosen one of six finalists from a field of 22 applicants when Springboro's most recent problems began.

        “This is a going to, not a leaving from,” Mr. DeLuca said Tuesday. “I'm leaving Springboro on very good terms. Those issues are not issues I'm directly involved in. The board and community have issues. Those are not mine.”

        But the latest departure from Springboro adds to concerns some parents have about the district.

        The district is opening a new elementary school this fall. So along with hiring a new superintendent, trea surer and now human relations director, the district has to hire teachers and other staff, said Christine Iaconis, a Springboro mother who has been outspoken about the direction of the school.

        “I am very concerned about where we are going,” she said.

        Mr. Meier's departure has been blamed on tensions between the school administration and a new school board majority as a result of the November election.

One's loss, one's gain
        Eaton Board of Education President Richard Mitchell said Springboro's loss is Eaton's gain. He said the board talked with two members of Springboro's board along with a former board member during avisit to the district last week.

        Next year, the Eaton board will be looking at an income tax renewal and the need for additional revenue along with facility improvements.

        Two years ago voters rejected a bond issue to build a new high school.

        “Joe has learned from good teachers and just finished a building project and levy passage there. He can bring the experience here of what worked and didn't work,” Mr. Mitchell said.

        Enquirer reporter Phillip Pina contributed.


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