CCS looking to fill top jobs in district after resignations, retirements and vacancies

Columbus City Schools is looking to fill several administrative vacancies.

After selecting Angela Chapman to permanently become Columbus City Schools superintendent last month, the Board of Education and the superintendent have a new task: filling roles emptied by a number of departures, retirements and resignations in the district's administration.

Several district positions have recently been vacated, including the treasurer and internal auditor, who report directly to the Board of Education during meetings. In a statement, a CCS spokesperson said, like any business," there are staff in place who are able to step-in and continue processes during transitions."

"This is an exciting time for the district as we look to fill positions with leaders with the skills, values and drive to accomplish the board goals & guardrails set by the Board of Education," the statement reads.

District treasurer retiring, auditor office reporting to legal counsel

Treasurer Stan Bahorek’s contract expires on July 31, and he intends to enter retirement after a 45-year career in public finance, including 28 years as a school district treasurer, according to the CCS statement. Bahorek has been with the district since 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Internal Auditor Carolyn Smith,  who is most well-known for investigating and helping to expose the district’s student-data scandal, tendered her resignation late last year and the board accepted her resignation in January. The internal auditor's office is reporting directly to the district's chief legal counsel James Barnes.

Under Ohio Law, the CCS Board of Education is charged with the hiring of three direct reports, including the superintendent, treasurer, and internal auditor. Last month, board member Michael Cole told the media that the Board was "working to that effect at this point in time."

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During a committee meeting last week, board member Carol Beckerle said now that the search for the next superintendent was over, the next step was selecting an interim internal auditor.

"We're hoping to use this opportunity to sort through this organizationally, how those functions should all be handled, allocated, to better support our organization," Beckerle said to members of the audit team during the meeting.

The CCS statement said the Board of Education "is committed to ensuring a smooth transition when candidates are identified, and it will work diligently to ensure the selected candidates are well-suited for their respective roles."

"In the short term, the board is confident in the staff responsible for temporarily carrying on these work functions until they make their selections," according to the CCS statement.

Vacancies in a number of other administrative roles

Other roles in the superintendent's cabinet, including the chief operating officer, deputy superintendent for academics and chief performance and strategy positions, are filled by district employees on an interim basis, according to the district website.

The office of information technology, typically managed by the chief information officer, currently is being overseen by Chief of Strategy and Performance Russell Brown, who is also operating on an interim basis according to the CCS website.

Scott Wortman, the former chief communications officer with the district departed CCS in April, is taking a job as senior communications director for nonprofit Battelle for Kids, a school-based group that focuses on kindergarten through 12th grade education, according to his LinkedIn page. Jacqueline Bryant is interim executive director for communications and media relations.

The CCS statement noted that the district is "actively recruiting" for open positions, including bus drivers, secretaries, custodial positions and administrator roles.

"In the coming weeks, the superintendent will be looking at processes to see what is needed, and making hiring decisions based on what is needed to move the district forward," the CCS statement reads.

Expert says superintendent departures can drive turnover

Catherine Robert, co-director of the Center for Educational Research, Policy and Practice at the University of Texas at Arlington, said generally speaking there can be a “large level of turnover” after a superintendent departs a district. And since interim superintendents rarely fill open administrative positions, openings can build up.

“When you go for six months without the roles being filled, that naturally increases the amount of available positions,” Robert said.

She added that a number of factors, including the age of employees, relative salary to other opportunities and working conditions can be driving factors in departures and retirements. She also said departures can feed into further departures.

“When you have people leave the team, that encourages others to look because of the power vacuum or feeling of uncertainty,” Robert said.


This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: With vacant administration jobs, Columbus schools is recruiting