Superintendent hopefuls grilled

Tiffin City Schools Board of Education conducted interviews of the final two candidates for superintendent Wednesday during a special meeting at Tiffin Middle School.

The board entered into executive session to interview the candidates.

No action was taken.

The candidates are Curtis Clough, superintendent for Strasburg-Franklin Local Schools, and Vickie Wheatley, assistant superintendent of Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Center.

Candidates were involved in several forums throughout the day.

Faculty, staff, administrators and community members filled out anonymous forms presenting feedback to the board on the candidates’ views and experience on leadership, communication, curriculum and finance.

Wheatley has been with Eastland-Fairfield since last year. She has served as principal at Wickliffe High School and has had teaching positions in the Wickliffe District at the elementary and middle school levels.

“I have been very selective in choosing a superintendent position,” Wheatley said. “The district I am coming from has many similarities to Tiffin. There are great schools here. I am looking to build on the foundation that is already there.”

Wheatley has a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Baldwin-Wallace College, a master’s degree in educational administration from Cleveland State University and a doctorate in education from Ashland University.

If hired, Wheatley said she plans to work more collaboratively with teachers, parents, students and community members.

“With the many changes coming from the state, it is important to do it together,” Wheatley said.

She also addressed the importance of giving all students the same opportunities, including with programs in dual enrollment and post-secondary options.

Clough has been employed at six school districts around the state as a teacher, athletic director and assistant principal. He has also worked at Mohave Community College and as a principal at Miami High School in Arizona.

Clough said he decided to seek the Tiffin job because “it feels like home.”

He said he is a graduate of Shelby High School and he and his wife have many relatives in the area.

“The district I am coming from has similar values as Tiffin,” Clough said. “I have a passion for public education and I feel I have the skills to fit what Tiffin needs.”

Clough said his focus is on what is best for Tiffin and best for the students.

“We want to have more educational opportunities for the students,” he said. “We need to focus on what to get done and what is best for the community and what is best for here.”

Clough has a bachelor of science degree in social studies education from The Ohio State University and a master of science in physical education from the University of Akron. He has completed coursework toward a doctorate in educational administration and supervision from the University of Toledo. His middle and high school principal license has expired, but he has active superintendent and social studies teaching licenses.

Tiffin City Schools Board President Kathy Venema said the board is to conduct background checks on the candidates and have additional discussion to include feedback provided from the forums.

The board is to meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Tiffin Middle School cafetorium.