Springboro’s Hook one of 3 finalists for state school superintendent post

Hook, Hosler, Dackin will interview with state school board again on May 9.

Springboro school district superintendent Larry Hook is one of three finalists in the search for Ohio’s next superintendent of public instruction, overseeing PK-12 schools statewide.

The other finalists are Thomas Hosler, superintendent of Perrysburg schools in suburban Toledo, and Steve Dackin, a former K-12 and community college administrator who until two months ago was the vice president of the state board of education.

From the 27 original applicants, the state board chose seven candidates to interview in April — Dackin, Hook, Hosler, Finn Laursen, David Quattrochi, Kimberly Richey and Ronnie Tarchichi.

At Thursday’s state school board meeting, the 19 board members voted publicly on whether to bring each of them back for a second interview. Dackin received 17 yes votes. Hook 14 and Hosler 13. None of the other candidates got more than five yes votes.

Dackin, Hook and Hosler will have second interviews with the state board in closed session on May 9, with a hiring decision expected from the board shortly after.

The state superintendent is the top administrator for the Ohio Department of Education, which oversees the school funding system, develops academic standards, manages state achievement tests and school report cards, and handles licensing of teachers and other education personnel.

ODE spokeswoman Lacey Spoke said the salary for the state superintendent will be set by the state board. Hannah News Service reported that the position will pay at least $250,000 per year.

Hook assumed the Springboro superintendent role in August 2020 after serving as the superintendent of Carlisle Local Schools for 10 years. He previously served in the Milford school district outside Cincinnati, according to the Springboro schools website.

“I really feel like I have something to offer the children of the state of Ohio,” Hook said earlier this spring. His current contract with Springboro is up at the end of July 2023.

Cleveland.com reported this week that Dackin was leading the early phase of the state board’s superintendent search, including review of some applicants’ materials, before suddenly resigning from the board and deciding to run for the position himself.

Ohio’s interim superintendent is Stephanie Siddens, who assumed office on Sept. 25, 2021. She replaced Paolo DeMaria, who was state superintendent for five years before becoming president and CEO of the National Association of State Boards of Education.

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