Tuesday, January 21, 2020 Elyria 20°

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Lorain's new Distress Commision named


LORAIN – The Ohio Department of Education, along with Lorain school board president Tim Williams and Mayor Chase Ritenauer, released their picks for the Academic Distress Commission Thursday afternoon.

State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s picks include:

  • • Patricia O’Brien, Executive Director of the Stocker Foundation
  • • Anthony Richardson, Program Officer of the Nord Family Foundation
  • • Michele Soliz, Assistant Vice President of Student Success and Inclusion at the University of Toledo

The commission, which will be tasked with appointing a CEO in the next 60 days as part of the provision under state House Bill 70 that passed in 2015 and states a district that’s been under academic distress for four years will become under the prevue of a CEO.

The Lorain school district was placed under academic distress in 2013 as a result of low test scores and poor state report card scores. At the time, a commission was appointed to help guide the district in the right direction, but it was unsuccessful. On March 7, that commission was disbanded in order to make way for the new one.

Once the new commission has appointed a CEO, he or she must then put together a strategic plan to help the district improve and get out of academic distress.

Only one of DeMaria’s picks needed have a vested interest in Lorain County and he hit that requirement with both O’Brien and Richardson, both of whom work for non-profits in Elyria and Amherst, respectfully.

One of DeMaria’s picks will also be selected to be the chairperson of the committee at a later date, district spokeswoman Erin Gadd said.

Williams’ pick for the commission, Dorinda Hall, is a teacher in the district per HB 70 stipulations. She works as an academic instructional coach primarily at Stevan Dohanos Elementary.

Ritenauer’s pick, John Monteleone, was required to be someone who lives in the city of Lorain but the mayor indicated early on in the process the person would live in the city as well as the school district, rather than one of five other districts in the city’s limits.

Monteleone used to be a principal in the Lorain school district but currently serves at the assistant superintendent in Oberlin.

Check Friday’s Chronicle-Telegram for more details.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieHNix.

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