LORAIN — District CEO David Hardy sent an email Wednesday announcing Superintendent Jeff Graham was exploring other professional opportunities due to current circumstances.
But in a text Wednesday night, Graham said he hadn’t resigned and couldn’t comment until he looked into the matter.
When asked to expand on the aforementioned “current circumstances” leading to the announcement, Hardy said:
“I would hate to speak for him, but I think him and I came to an understanding on what we had to do going forward. I think when the complication of a lot of the unfortunate politics that surround the city and the state intervention — and you add all those pieces together and you end in a result where here’s a superintendent who’s sitting in a unique position.
“And I come in and, by statute, I have the authority of the board and the superintendent, and that makes it difficult for a lot of people.
“And so I think at the end of the day when you add that up, it equals circumstances. Whether or not that was completely behind his decision to pursue other opportunities, I just wish him the best and I’m sure he wishes us the best moving forward.”
Hardy said he believes with the Lorain Promise being approved by the Academic Distress Commission on Wednesday night, this can be a fresh start. Hardy spoke fondly on Graham’s past efforts for the district.
“I think Jeff has done a ton for this community, has done a ton for public education and will continue to do that,” he said.
Graham became Lorain Schools’ superintendent in August 2015; he previously was superintendent for Parma Schools.
Director of communications and engagement Erin Gadd also will be leaving Lorain Schools. Her last day will be Monday. Hardy also praised Gadd’s work for the district.
Gadd started working for Lorain Schools in September 2015, and also came to Lorain from Parma Schools.
The district is reviewing and accepting applications to fill those positions and other open positions on the school board, Hardy said. It is reviewing 213 applications for the vacant district positions.
Hardy hopes to have the final candidates for the interim superintendent in the next four to six weeks.
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