Saturday, May 29, 2004

Princeton finalist withdraws as superintendent candidate

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

GLENDALE - Aaron Mackey, associate superintendent in the Princeton City School District and one of two finalists for the superintendent's job, has withdrawn his name because he believes his candidacy has "polarized the board."

In an e-mail to school board members Thursday night, Mackey said he applied for the position because colleagues and community members had encouraged him.

"They convinced me that I was the right person, at the right time, for the job ahead in our district. In my heart, I believe that to be true," Mackey wrote.

"However, my candidacy seems to have polarized the board. This is not good for the board or the district. As a team, we could not hope to bring our district together if we, in fact, cannot bring ourselves together. We are facing far too many serious and complicated issues not to be together as a team.

"Under the circumstances, I feel I can best serve our district in my current position and help the next chosen leader for the time being."

Mackey was one of 30 applicants to fill the superintendent's job in the 6,000-student district. Don Darby is retiring July 31after 35 years as an educator, administrator and superintendent in the school district.

The board whittled the list to eight finalists, then two: Mackey and David Macali, superintendent of Ashland City School District. Board President Gary Bryson said he was disappointed when he learned of Mackey's decision.

"I don't think the board is polarized," Bryson said. "I think there are differences of opinion. We all agreed the final candidates we had were all qualified to have the job. We spent a lot of hours in meetings trying to reach a consensus before we make a decision so we don't have a split vote ... That might be possible or it might not.''

The board met in executive session Wednesday to discuss the issue, but the meeting ended without naming a superintendent. The superintendent search will be discussed at a special meeting Tuesday.



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