Fisk a finalist for the Monroeville job

Joe Centers, Norwalk Reflector, Ohio
·3 min read

Feb. 27—NORWALK — Norwalk City Schools Superintendent George Fisk was a finalist for the Monroeville job.

Kristin Kaple-Jones, an elementary principal from Shelby, was hired earlier this week to replace the retiring Ralph Moore.

Fisk did not return a call from the Reflector. This is not the first time he has interviewed for other jobs and the last time he did he told the Reflector he would no longer comment on his job searches.

"It really concerns me that every few months this board receives word from another district or from Mr. Fisk that he has applied for a superintendent's job," Norwalk City Schools school board president Ralph Ritzenthaler said. "As board president, if he leaves, I will have to get the four other board members together and start an extensive search. Then there is a very tight timeline. Someone will have to be hired before the start of the next school year. It puts tons of pressure on a new person, even if it is an interim superintendent.

"I've been through this process of hiring a superintendent before. It is a very time-consuming task. Many nights with extra meetings. We have only two present board members with experience in hiring a new superintendent," Ritzenthaler said.

"This district needs stability. We have to have someone on board that is going to want to stay. We are working on a $60,000,000 elementary building project with no increase in taxes to our residents. A new person will have to be updated quickly with this great deal for our people. It will be difficult to bring in a new person and lay something like this in their lap. This is just one example."

Fisk was hired in 2015 on a three-year contract. On March 17, 2017, the board approved a new five-year contract running from 2018 to July 31, 2023.

"That guy has been looking and a finalist for 100 jobs," school board member Steve Linder said. "It bothers me. This is our guy and I have supported him.

"What does this do for Norwalk? It's not good, I can tell you that."

When Fisk was first hired and looking elsewhere he said he and his family wanted to get back closer to home.

"He was here three months then wanted to go back home. He is giving us mixed feelings where we are going to be. We gave him an extended contract ... it's not really fair to Norwalk," Linder said. "After he said he wanted to be closer to home, he interviewed in Findlay. It is not fair to Norwalk.

"What do you do? To me, Norwalk is sitting here with a bad report card and we need to get it up. He's been working on that. How much is he trying?

"The proof is in the pudding. He's been looking ever since he's been here. I just wish he would be straight with us," Linder said. "He's a great guy. I hope he gets it for his family then Norwalk can move on. If this was the private sector, you would cut him a check and tell him goodbye. He is doing a good job but he doesn't want to be here.

"Personally, I am very happy with the job he is doing. If his contract came up tomorrow I would vote for him."

Board member Duane Moore said he's happy with Fisk and the job he is doing.

"If you are doing the job and want to look for another job, that's up to you," Moore said. "If there is there something here that is making George unhappy than we should find out what it is. I think George did one heck of a job on this COVID thing. We were back in school with very few COVID cases."