Administrator hiring stirs debate at board meeting

Newly-hired assistant principal/athletic director is home-schooling his children.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Sep 4, 2013


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.



Now The Rest of...

Its good enough the collect a paycheck, but not good enough to send his own children.

Scranton Tibbs

Agreed, seems kind of odd.


There might be personal reasons for homeschooling their kids that they don't want to share with the public. You shouldn't have to send your kid to a school just because you work there.


This brings up a great point. Not all teachers live in the district they teach in. If anyone believes this school employee should be required to have his children taught by the district he's employed by, then ALL teachers should have this same requirement. However, then people will complain (probably rightfully so) that they aren't paying property taxes to their district and their children may actually be placing a financial burden on the school. Not an easy answer here, folks.

Scranton Tibbs

I agree, you shouldn't "have to", but it doesn't send a good message either.


To homeschool or not is a parent's choice, but the kids should not be allowed to play extra-curricular activities at the school. I personally think home schooling does not cultivate a socially well rounded child, but this is just my opinion.


So you make a statement saying that home schooled children are not socially well rounded and out of the other side of your mouth you state that it is an opinion? Please tell us on what facts you base your opinion? Every major study concerning home schooled children shows that they perform as good as or exceed those children who attend public schools, both academically and socially. Also the percentage of home schooled children that go to and graduate from college is double that of public school children. If you have a different opinion, that's fine. You should at least attempt to base it on facts, not feelings.


Calm down...I said it was MY opinion. I have been around some home schooled kids who have no clue what goes on in the real world. Now maybe those kids were in the minority, and every other homeschooled kid is completely prepared for the "big meanies" of real life, but not those kids. That is what I was basing my opinion own experience.


I had misconceptions about homeschooled children as well, until I started homeschooling my own a few years ago. Our public district did not offer the type of education our one child needs and so we tried a different route. I have become amazed at the number of local children who are homeschooled (and it is growing drastically I might add!), and nearly every one I meet is a child I would WANT my children spending time with. I certainly couldn't say the same of most of the public school classmates.
As for the extracurriculars, we think it is fantastic that schools no longer have the choice to exclude our children who live in their district. WE PAY PROPERTY TAXES to a school district that can not adequately educate our children because they are advanced and the state doesn't require gifted education, and now we also bear the financial and time obligations that are required for homeschooling. Why should our children be excluded from representing their hometown in sports as well?

Kobayashi Maru

Tom Kagy did this when he taught at Norwalk/Willard. Ruffled a lot of feathers. The belief is that if you are good enough to work there it should be good enough to educate your children.


Parents choice......everyone else should just stay out of it.