"I just think being part of a team where there's a lot of good things that have happened and working successfully to complete negotiation agreements is what I'm most proud of," North told News Center 7's James Buechele.
Construction progress for facility improvements and the financial state of the district are also highlights for North, stating the district is in a black state financially for the next five years and praised the architects designing the new buildings.
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“There’s a lot of new excitement,” North told Buechele. “The hope is that will also translate on improvements on what we do internally as far as instruction and curriculum and tie all that together and create greater opportunities for kids.”
North said he is not concerned with the board’s ability to choose his successor, and is not involved in the hiring process.
“There’re a lot of good people in this district to keep things moving forward.”
The school district is also looking for a new treasurer after Nicole Marshall was hired for the same role in May by Westerville City Schools.
“The board is in the process of searching for a new treasurer and I think it’s an ideal situation for anyone to come into,” Marshall told Buechele. “Financially we’re on solid ground. We have a great central office administration and we have an excellent board of education that works very collaboratively together.”
Marshall said facility improvement was the main concern coming into the district four years ago and shares North’s feelings about the progress.
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“It’s been a process and we finally broke ground on June 1,” Marshall said. “It’s a really exciting time. The city’s excited about it and I think everyone is pretty excited to see those new buildings go up.”
FIRST REPORT June 26 @3:02 p.m.:
Fairborn City Schools Superintendent Mark North intends to resign later this week as board members at a northwest Ohio educational service center are expected to hire him as their new leader, he confirmed to the Dayton Daily News.
North’s departure, which follows that of treasurer Nicole Marshall, will leave the top two positions at the district empty.
The Wood County ESC board is expected to approve North as its new superintendent Thursday, with an Aug. 2 start date. Public records show North will leave his Fairborn contract two years early and will take a nearly $47,000 pay cut for a $105,000 salary in Wood County.
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“We are very pleased with Mr. North, and his experience and what we feel he can offer to our educational service center,” said Tim Smith, a Wood County ESC board member. “We felt that he seemed like the kind of individual who would work well with the local superintendents we have in Wood County.”
Smith said the board was attracted to North’s “depth of understanding of special education.”
Unlike a traditional school district, an educational service center is a district that provides professional development, support, planning and administrative services to other school districts in a given area, according to the ESC Association.
The Wood County ESC provides supervisory, special education, administrative and other services to districts in Wood County, which is south of Toledo. The Wood County ESC is headquartered in Bowling Green.
North, who also served as the superintendent at Lebanon City Schools, declined to comment until after the Fairborn Board of Education meeting Thursday evening.
A woman who answered the home telephone of Andrew Wilson, the Fairborn Board of Education president, said Wilson was too dirty from outdoor yard work to take the call.
In a letter of recommendation reviewed by the newspaper using Ohio’s public records laws, Fairborn Board of Education Vice President Katherine Mlod said North’s accomplishments included passing the building bond issue and “reversing a failing culture of discontent” within the schools’ workforce.
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“I must admit that it is with great sadness that I write this letter of recommendation,” Mlod wrote. “Mr. North’s abilities and accomplishments are unsurpassed, and without his experience and guidance, I can honestly say that I would not have a school district that I am proud to send my own child to at this time.”
Marshall, the Fairborn treasurer who formerly worked in Kettering, said she will begin her new job as Westerville City Schools treasurer effective Sunday.
“Luckily the opportunity came up to be their treasurer, and I’m very excited about making the move,” she told the newspaper. “Fairborn’s a great place, and I’ve really enjoyed the time I worked there. The board, administrators and staff are all wonderful people … I’m hoping they find someone who will help keep the momentum going on the great things we’ve established there.”
Marshall declined comment on North’s departure, but in a letter of recommendation, she provided North a glowing review, calling him the “ideal candidate” for the Wood County job. She also credited North for successful passage of the district building levy and soothing tensions with staff.
“Prior to Mark coming here, there was a large amount of distrust between staff and administration,” Marshall wrote on Fairborn City Schools letterhead. “Mark has worked hard and has been successful at healing old wounds and moving the district in a better direction, all while gaining trust from staff.”
Marshall’s new salary will be $150,000, up from about $111,755 in 2017, according to public records.
Contact this reporter at 937-259-2086 or email Will.Garbe@coxinc.com. Staff Writer Jeremy P. Kelley contributed reporting.
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