May 13, 2016
To My Fellow Public School Advocates,
After two days of excellent candidate interviews and candid conversations amongst our board members, we have hired Paolo DeMaria as our new state superintendent. As many of you, I, too, was looking for someone who had experience in the field. Although Shonda Hardman was my top choice, I do believe that the sSate Department of Education will benefit from someone with Paolo’s background in policy at all levels of state government, his strong organizational skills, and his ability to build consensus. He has worked for governors from both sides of the aisle and those who I respect and who know him, spoke very highly of his persistence, honesty and genuineness.
Several of his remarks during the interview struck a particular cord with me. They included:
“I believe in servant leadership that creates the conditions to succeed…We should start with the locals’ challenges and know that you do not earn trust overnight…I believe in the power of a collective look at best practices to advance the strategic plan…and [to be ing] diligent in the leadership to implement it…We need to get things done, monitor and measure, and celebrate when we get there…This is a collaborative effort and if people are not involved, they will not own it…We must be much more deliberate in engagement and build consensus around policy.”
In regard to my question about the teacher and administrator shortage, his remarks included:
“We don’t often give teachers the resources they need to be successful…We somehow have failed to keep children at the center of our perspective and we need to bring the students’ voice to the table to help shape policy and implementation…We need to create a climate where teachers want to come to Ohio to teach and a condition so that every day is a joyful day of learning.”
Finally, I was very pleased with the transparent process that President Gunlock put in place and the spirit of collaboration amongst my colleagues. I believe that our unanimous endorsement by a vote of 19/0, speaks to a new day and a new way of communicating at the Ohio Department of Education.
We have much work to do together to make ODE a true partner in your work and through the ESSA process to develop our Ohio Plan; a roadmap that will guide our education system for the next decade.
We have a real opportunity to make Ohio the “go to” state for 21st Century Best Practices. We have a sacred responsibility to create a learning environment that honors the potential of each child and gives them the tools they need to be successful. I believe we have hired an individual who can thoughtfully and creativity lead us through this journey.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer article can be found at http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/05/who_is_paolo_demaria_new_state.html
Together, we can build a brighter tomorrow for all our children! I am looking forward to our work with a renewed energy!
SBOE DISTRICT 4