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Administrator hiring stirs debate at board meeting

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Sep 4, 2013 at 2:07 PM

In Brad Romano's first report to the New London board of education as superintendent, he described requiring schools to allow home-schooled students and others who are not local students to participate in extracurricular activities as "opening a Pandora's Box."

He also said he feels some of the budget items give charter schools and home-schooled families an advantage over public schools.

A discussion followed regarding the board's decision to employ Geoff Geist as assistant principal/athletic director, an administrative position.

No one questioned Geist's qualifications and commitment to the job, but the fact his children are home schooled.

The board seemed somewhat divided on the matter, but board president Kevin Babcock said, "We make all of our decisions based upon what we feel will be best for the district." Ken Hale concurred, adding, "We look at the whole picture, and this was a good decision." It was also noted this is not a new situation and has happened in the past with other staff members.

Several citizens in attendance questioned the public relations aspect of the issue and how it looks to the public to have an administrator whose children do not attend the school.

"The choice had nothing to do with the teachers," Geist said. "They are the best staff of any public education system in Ohio." He said this is a personal decision he and his wife make on a year-to-year basis.

A story about this and other subjects discussed by the school board was published recently in the Norwalk Reflector.

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