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04-11-05 Four left in hunt for superintendent

By Janie Southard

  Four candidates have climbed from a field of 19 applicants for the position of district superintendent at Celina City Schools.
Ohio Lieutenant Governor Bruce Johnson discusses development issues with Judy Cowan, left, from Gov. Bob Taft's regional economic development office, Mercer County development director Larry Stelzer and Mercer County Commissioner Bob Nuding, during a visit at Celina Aluminum Precision Technology (CAPT) last week. CAPT recently announced an expansion project that could add up to 54 jobs. <br>
  The quartet includes: Richard Bricker, superintendent at Preble Shawnee Local School district; Matt Miller, director of student services and instruction at Celina City Schools; Gayl Ray, executive director of curriculum at Mansfield City School district; and David Williamson, superintendent at South Central Local District at Greenwich.
  Current Superintendent Fred Wiswell tendered his resignation earlier this year effective Aug. 31 after four years as superintendent. He has been with the district 27 years.
  District Treasurer Mike Marbaugh this morning said no salary range has been set for the superintendency. Wiswell's current base salary is $83,608.
  Celina board member Mary Lehman, chair of the superintendent search advisory committee, said she expects to present the four applicants' names and resumes to the board at the next meeting, April 25.  "We would hope to hire the new superintendent by the first of May," Lehman said.
  Members of the advisory committee are: Amy Hoying, board member, Sally Tatham, Celina Intermediate School principal, Richard Murray, community member, Kathy Bohman, Ohio Association of Public School Employees Chapter 457 representative, and Ann Holdheide, Celina Education Association representative.
  Following are excerpts from the candidates' applications:
   Richard Bricker, who received his bachelor's in 1975, master's degree in 1978 from the University of Toledo and his doctorate in 2004 from the University of Sarasota, Fla., is in his fifth year as superintendent at Preble-Shawnee Local Schools, Camden.
  He has served in the field of education for more than 30 years.
  In his letter to the Celina board, he states he has a "fairly strong background working with school finances ... including working with levies and promoting school issues."
   Matt Miller, Celina's director of student services, was formerly principal of Celina's East elementary and Franklin elementary schools and a teacher for five years at Oakdale Elementary School in Oak Hills (Cincinnati).
  He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati receiving his bachelor's degree in 1993 and his master's in 1999. He earned his superintendent certificate in 2004 from Bowling Green State University.
  In his present position on Celina's administrative team, Miller wrote in his letter to the board that he "knows what lies ahead for our school district" and believes "he can lead us through the upcoming challenges."
   Gayl M. Ray received her bachelor's degree from the University of Akron, her master's from Kent State University and her doctor's degree from The Ohio State University.
  Prior to her present position as executive director of curriculum at Mansfield City Schools, she served as deputy director of the Center for Education and Training for Employment at The Ohio State University.
  She states in her letter to the board that her "experiences in an urban district have given me the opportunity to provide educational services to a diverse population."
   David E. Williamson received his bachelor's degree in 1976 from Wright State University, his master's in 1982 from the University of Dayton and his doctorate in 2004 from Kennedy Western University.
  Prior to his position as superintendent at South Central Local School district, he served as superintendent at Trimble Local School district for one year and as superintendent at Waynesfield-Goshen Local Schools from 1994 to 1997.
  In his letter to the board, Williamson highlights how he raised his district from the designation "academic watch" to "effective" ratings on the district report card through "challenging the status quo of the administration, staff, students and the community."


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