Warren to vote on superintendent

The Warren Local Board of Education will vote Wednesday on hiring a new superintendent.

Kyle Newton, current superintendent of Crooksville Exempted Village Schools and a former assistant superintendent in the Morgan Local school district, is the candidate being considered, Warren board President Sidney Brackenridge said Monday.

“This is not a done deal ’til we sign off on it Wednesday night,” Brackenridge said.

Newton declined comment, saying he would have a statement on Wednesday.

Newton is not one of the 18 candidates who applied for the job when the Warren board posted it in anticipation of current Superintendent Tom Gibbs’ resignation on May 20. The board interviewed six of those individuals, then brought three to a public forum at Warren High School. However, two committees of residents and a staff group each rated a different candidate as their first choice, and the board could not agree on a favorite either.

The board held a special meeting on June 19, mostly in closed, executive session, during which they interviewed Newton, Brackenridge said. The board reached out to him because he has family ties to the area and they’d gotten favorable reviews of him from some current administrators, he said.

Board member Bob Allen said that in his eyes, Newton’s experience overseeing transportation and other matters for Morgan Local, a district about twice the geographic size of Warren, and his expertise in curriculum make him an appealing candidate. He’s also familiar with initiatives of the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative with which Warren works.

“He knew the (Warren) schools and the area,” Allen said. “He’s a very down-to-earth, straightforward kind of guy.”

The board made including the public a focus when it began the search process, and although there hasn’t been an open forum with Newton, Brackenridge and Allen said they feel the public’s input is still a part of the process.

Brackenridge said the board got an idea of what the public wanted in the next superintendent at the June 8 event, even if they didn’t choose one at that time.

“The one consistent we heard was, ‘We don’t think we’ve seen who we want to be our next superintendent,'” Allen said.

Some of those in attendance encouraged the board to move forward with finding the appropriate candidate, even if that meant there wouldn’t be another public session, Allen said. He cited the timing of the search, noting that July 10 is generally the date by which school district employees must notify their districts if they intend to leave.

“We were up against it time-wise,” Allen said.

If Newton is hired Wednesday, that would give him a chance to be part of the process of interviewing potential principals for Warren High School and Barlow-Vincent Elementary School, Allen said.