The Avon school board has begun the process of finding a replacement for departing Superintendent Mike Laub.
Board members went into executive session after their regular meeting April 20 to discuss an internal candidate, according to board President Tara Tatman. She did not name the candidate and the board took no action.
The board also called a special meeting Thursday “to enter into an executive session to interview a candidate and discuss personnel,” according to its agenda.
Any results from that meeting were not available as of press time. (If this changes by Monday morning, I will adjust this story – TC on Thursday)
After nine years as superintendent of Avon Local Schools, Laub accepted the job of superintendent of North Royalton City Schools. He takes over that position July 1, replacing retiring Superintendent Greg Gurka.
Laub’s current salary with Avon is $135,762.
“We have not yet determined what the salary will be for the next superintendent,” Tatman said. “It will depend on the candidate that we offer the position to.”
Laub was awarded a three-year contract with North Royalton schools. His starting salary was set at $135,000 annually, though it has the potential to grow to $200,000 per year.
“On behalf of the North Royalton City Schools Board of Education, we are looking forward to having Mr. Laub join our school community as the next superintendent of schools,” North Royalton school board President Heidi Dolezal said in a news release.
“Mr. Laub has the experience, vision and ability to make a positive impact in our School District,” she continued. His leadership at Avon has proven his ability to develop a model district. We are confident that Mr. Laub’s passion for learning will allow us to continue to inspire and empower the learners of the North Royalton City Schools.”
The North Royalton board received 42 applications for the position and interviewed six finalists.
North Royalton has a student body of just over 4,000 and five school buildings.
Laub’s career includes working as a teacher, assistant principal, a principal, human resources director and coach for Westlake and Strongsville schools.
“A positive culture is the cornerstone of any successful school district,” Laub said in a news release announcing his decision to leave Avon schools. “To help build a positive culture, a superintendent must be a visible leader, actively engaged with students, staff, families and the community.”
During the public portion of their April 20 meeting, school board members lauded Laub for his time with the district.
“On behalf of the Avon Board of Education I would like to thank you for all that you have done for the Avon Local Schools,” Tatman said, reading from a prepared statement.
She noted that when Laub arrived in 2012, Avon schools had 3,600 students. As he leaves, the district has grown to 4,400 students.
“Throughout your tenure you have guided this district through building and opening a new middle school, transitioning our littlest learners from to the Early Learning Center and this fall we will open a brand new performing arts center at Avon High School,” Tatman continued. “With the help of your administrators you have introduced the students of this district to amazing new opportunities and truly transitioned Avon to be ready to learn in the 21st century.”
Tatman stated that an old cliché argues it is important to leave things better than when you found them.
“We can say, without a doubt, you have done that for this district,” she added.
Several board members noted as Laub’s crowning achievement the rising Performing Arts Center outside Avon High School.
Tatman was the only school board member who voted against accepting Laub’s resignation, though she later said that vote was purely symbolic.
“Obviously making a decision like this is hard and it’s hard because of the people,” Laub said during the board meeting. “It’s been an awesome ride.”
Laub particularly lauded Avon Middle School Principal Craig Koehler, who is retiring after more than 40 years in education.
“He is such a good man and it’s been a blessing for me to have the opportunity to work with him,” Laub said.
Laub went on to thank his wife, Julie, and daughter, Brooke, a sophomore at Avon High School, saying doing a job such as school superintendent is a family affair.
The Laubs are Avon Lake residents and the husband and father said he has no plans of moving until Brooke graduates high school. He further noted his daughter plays basketball, adding in the future he can simply be one of the crazy parents in the stands yelling at the referees during games.
“Avon was a special place when I got here and will be a special place when I leave,” Laub said.
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