A District Update from Sylvania Board of Education
Monday, June 3, 2019
As most of you know, Dr. Fineske has accepted the Ottawa Hills Local Schools superintendent position and will be leaving our district July 31st. Dr. Fineske has served Sylvania Schools for 19 years, and we wish him well in his next endeavor. Still, with change comes opportunity and we are determined to make the most of this opening in our district leadership.
At Sylvania Schools, our deeply established roots have, for decades, helped to define our community. As an educational institution, the city’s second largest employer, and a significant driver of local real estate, Sylvania Schools is considered one of Sylvania’s most valued assets. Even highly-regarded organizations, however, need to reflect, refocus, and reset from time to time. For Sylvania Schools, now is one of those times.
As we close in on two centuries of serving the Sylvania community, Sylvania Schools is ready for transformative leadership and educational revitalization. To achieve this, we will be conducting an extensive, in-depth search for the next superintendent of Sylvania Schools. Doing so will take time, persistence, and a willingness to dig deep to determine who we are as a district and which direction we want to head next. We welcome you to join us in this process.
Our search for a new superintendent will involve staff, students, parents, and members of the greater Sylvania community. Public education affects everyone, so we want you, our community, to be with us each step of the way as we write the next chapter of the Sylvania Schools story. Below you will find the initial steps that will lead us to building a better Sylvania Schools for 2020.
1. Ensure the ongoing stability of the district during our superintendent search by installing a proven leader as interim superintendent. Jane Spurgeon successfully served Sylvania Schools as a counselor, assistant principal, principal, director of human resources, and assistant superintendent from 2001-2016 and has continued a relationship with the district as a substitute principal. Ms. Spurgeon is highly respected by staff members, knows our district well, and will bring the organizational consistency necessary for the Board to focus on finding the right superintendent to fill the position permanently. She has agreed to serve as interim superintendent, and her formal contract will be solidified as soon as possible. We are thrilled to have her as our educational leader for the 2019-2020 school year. Both parties understand this is only an interim position.
2. Choose an established, well-connected, and reasonably-priced firm to help organize the search for our new superintendent. The Board has already begun researching such firms and will choose one after an interview and selection process. None of the current Board members have been involved in an outside superintendent search as a school board member, so it is imperative that we have professional guidance to help us construct a thorough, well-reasoned search.
3. Conduct the search for the next Sylvania Schools superintendent. Once a firm is chosen, we will begin a detailed, comprehensive search. This process will begin by establishing our needs and wants as a community. We will keep you informed and involved as we move forward with this very important step.
4. Begin a new era in Sylvania education under new leadership for the 2020-2021 Sylvania Schools school year.
We recognize the gravity of finding the right educational leader to fulfill our needs and pilot us toward our best future. We are committed to taking the time to do this the right way and with the input and cooperation of the Sylvania community. We appreciate your patience and your support during this exciting time for our school district.
Sylvania Board of Education