Thursday, August 29, 2002
Top CPS job attracts crowd
Ex-Indianapolis schools chief applies
By Jennifer Mrozowski, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The next round of 12 applicants for Cincinnati's top schools job includes a variety of current and former educators.
Among them are educational consultants, college professors, a former superintendent of Middletown City Schools, chief of operations for Flint Community Schools in Michigan and the superintendent of Evansville Vanderburgh Schools in Indiana.
Also applying is the former superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, Esperanza Zendejas, who resigned after a controversial two-year term.
Ms. Zendejas, who has a doctorate from Stanford University, was superintendent in Indianapolis from 1995 to 1997, during which she launched ambitious programs to improve schools and trim the budget. Critics complained that she tried to do too much too fast, according to the Indianapolis Star. Ms. Zendejas later became a consultant at Eli Lilly and Kroger and a business owner.
Another applicant, Gene T. Lubera, former Middletown superintendent from 1969-71, has been CEO of Educational Training Institute in Wheaton, Ill., since 1979.
More applications are expected. The school board launched a search for a new superintendent after Steven Adamowski announced in June that he was leaving.
School board members hope that the search firm, Milwaukee-based Proact Search Inc., will narrow them to a group of three to seven finalists in September, board president Rick Williams said.
The district welcomes candidates who have risen to the top of school administration, as well as nontraditional candidates who have some background in education but spent part of their career in the military, business or other fields, Mr. Williams said.
This profile is about skills and knowledge and demonstrated abilities, he said. It's not about, "Did you spend all of your career in a K-12 situation?'
Sue Taylor, president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers union, said the board should seek an educator who can build consensus and solicit input.
Ms. Taylor also said the ideal candidate for superintendent should be African-American in a district in which 71 percent of the student population is African-American.
Our city has had a multitude of racial problems, and I really believe there are African-American candidates out there, she said. I think that's an important factor to look for to serve as a role model for our students, and as a role model for our city, frankly.
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