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Ohio names former college leader next state superintendent

Stephen Dackin succeeds former Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, who retired in September.
Credit: Lopolo/shutterstock.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former teacher, district superintendent and higher education leader was named Ohio's new state superintendent on Tuesday.

Stephen Dackin is a former vice president of the Ohio State Board of Education, which voted 14-4 with one abstention to approve his hiring to oversee public K-12 education in the state.

"His leadership, experience, vision for the future and commitment to supporting students will help position Ohio’s education system to be the best in the nation,” board president Charlotte McGuire said.

Dackin succeeds former Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, who retired in September. Stephanie Siddens had been serving in an interim role since then.

The Fordham Institute, a pro-charter school advocacy organization, said Dackin's background makes him “ideally-qualified for the position.”

In addition to classroom and administrative experience, Dackin had recently overseen school and community partnerships at Columbus State Community College.

Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro said Dackin's past board experience also means he is “well-aware of the many education issues facing Ohio’s students and public schools.”

The teacher's union leader called it critical that educators continue to be included as Ohio sets education policy.

Statement from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

"I congratulate Steve Dackin on his selection as Superintendent of Public Instruction by the State Board of Education. His experience, both as a member of the Board and in public education, will help him be an effective voice for Ohio’s students and their parents as he leads the Department of Education."

Statement from Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro

“The Ohio Education Association (OEA) looks forward to working with Steve Dackin in his new role as State Superintendent. By virtue of his former position as vice president of the State Board of Education, Mr. Dackin is well-aware of the many education issues facing Ohio’s students and public schools.

It is imperative that Ohio’s educators continue to have a seat at the table and a voice in the decisions that impact their ability to serve their students every day. All Ohio children, regardless of where they come from or what they look like, deserve an honest and reflective education that empowers them to be proud of who they are, develop critical thinking skills, and grow as strong leaders who can create a better future for all of us. The state Department of Education, under Mr. Dackin’s leadership, must lead the way to ensure Ohio’s educators can deliver on that promise of a world-class education for all.

OEA welcomes the opportunity to work collaboratively with Mr. Dackin to best meet the needs of Ohio’s students. Additionally, OEA thanks Interim Superintendent Stephanie Siddens for her leadership over the last several months.”

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