Norwalk names interim school superintendent

Cary Ashby • Jul 31, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Norwalk City Schools named Huron resident Will Folger as its interim superintendent Tuesday.

"I'm very excited to be here. I'm excited to join the Norwalk education family," said Folger, who retired Dec. 31 as the superintendent from Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools after nine years on the job. "I'm really looking forward to continuing the positive direction the district has taken the last several years."

Folger, whose one-year contract starts Friday, is taking over for Dennis Doughty, who is retiring Thursday after 38 years in various local positions. He was Norwalk's superintendent for five years. On Friday, Doughty starts his newest job as the president of Norwalk Catholic School.

"I've known him for a long time. He'll do a very good job for the district," Doughty said about Folger.

The school board voted 3-2 for Folger's hiring effective Friday through June 30. Board president John Lendrum and board members Kevin Cashen and Rob Ludwig were the supporting voters while Steve Linder and Ralph Ritzenthaler voted against hiring Folger.

After the special board meeting, Linder told the Reflector that Sue Goodsite, Norwalk's assistant superintendent and director of curriculum and grants, "was the last man standing" and on Saturday, the board "was supposed to hire Sue Goodsite as the superintendent and Will Folger as her assistant."

"We agreed Sue would get the job," Linder added.

It's unclear why Goodsite didn't get the job, but Linder said there was a breakdown in communication among the board members. (For more about the situation, read the sidebar in Wednesday's Norwalk Reflector.)

Lendrum was asked why the board decided to hire an interim superintendent.

"We didn't have a wide range of candidates we were hoping to see," he said.

Also, given the short time period to make a hiring decision and superintendents' commitment to their districts, Linder said it became obvious Norwalk needed an interim after the second round of interviews.

The board president said the important thing to know is Folger will best serve the Norwalk students, staff and school system "until we hire a superintendent with a long-term commitment to the district." Folger, who has 40 years of various education experience, said he was looking for interim jobs after his retirement and if Norwalk hadn't hired him, he likely would be working elsewhere.

Lendrum said the board plans to re-advertise the superintendent position "in the early winter," go through the interviewing process and hire someone by the end of the 2014-2015 school year.

For the full story, as well as the sidebar involving Goodsite, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Norwalk Reflector or read the e-paper. So you don't miss stories such as this one, you can subscribe to the Norwalk Reflector to receive home delivery and/or the e-paper, which is a complete digital replica of each issue. For more information, call (419) 668-3771 or click HERE.

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