Norwalk names interim school superintendent

Sue Goodsite would have been offered the job had it not been for a breakdown in communication among the board members, Linder says.
Cary Ashby
Jul 29, 2014


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.



Here's another example on why this school board cannot be trusted. How can you offer the job to Sue on one day then give it to Folger on the next day with no explanation.

If they are going to give it to someone for only one year on an interim basis, why wouldn't they give it to Sue who has the knowledge and the background of knowing this district. Now Folger will have to get adjusted and how long will that take?

If this school (the three who voted for Folger) thinks that they can be trusted they better think again. The voters recently voted in a levy. Can you trust them with the money. I really doubt it.

Doughty stated that he has known Folger for a long time. This is another example of the "good ol boy" club.

Linder and Ritzenthaler should be commended for their vote. it would have been easy for them to vote yes knowing that the voye was going be to against them. They, however, stood by their principles, which is something the rest of the board did not have after offering Sue the job earlier.

Sue, keep your chin up. I'm sure this district will soon realize what a mistake they have made fairly soon.


100% agreed! At least, come election time, we know which board members demonstrated some integrity. Does anyone know when we get to elect new board members? (I'm just learning about all of this.)


"I'm just learning about all of this" speaks volumes when you use the words integrity and Linder in the same sentence. He's basically Janet's mouthpiece since she wasn't re-elected. Trust me, the board got this one right!


If you think Linder is a mouthpiece for Janet Broz, then what do you consider Cashen. He is a mouthpiece for Lendrum and Ludwig. If you notice, he has continually voted the same as his cronies. I believe he cannot think on his own.

He has been a big disappointment. I thought he'd do better than this.

Remember, Lendrum's term expires in 2015. That would make his 20 years tenure on the board way too long. It's time to get rid of these back door deals.

Kobayashi Maru

June 25, 2013, Elyria Newspaper, when he retired.

“This is very, very difficult for me,” Folger said Monday to Board of Education members who unanimously approved the retirement. “But as I go out the door in six months, 40 years of education is probably about enough.”

He also stated he was going to practice law.

Wonder what changed his mind?

Since he already retired I hope the district got him on the cheap. $90,000 sounds good. I hope it's not over $100,000.


Why didn't the NR publish his salary. Was it because he is going to be paid over $100,000? What other benefits is he going to get.

Folger stated that he was done with education and was going to practice law. He sounds like one that will fit in with Lendrum and his cronies. He can't be trusted in what he says.

swiss family

could you also did up the quote from Dr Goodsite and her exact words as she announced her retirement??? I am pretty sure that they would be very similar to Dr Folgers... so lets be fair about this.... I mean pettiness especially one sided is not very becoming..

Kobayashi Maru

I have gone through numerous pages of files. I can't find it. I'll continue to search.

J Cooper

swiss family "I mean pettiness especially one sided is not very becoming.." Example of the pot calling the kettle black..

swiss family

"Cooper" that is NOT "pettiness" it is called "fairness" look it up sometime... if you are going to quote Dr Folger and what he said on at the time that he decided to retire and the reasons he gave and the visions he had of his future plans now that he was retired, then it is also only FAIR... got that FAIR to also quote Dr Goodsite , who, by the way , is also RETIRED, and to look up what she also said when she retired, and what her parting words were, and what her visions were going to be now that she was retired as well... that is certainly NOT pettiness.. it is only being fair, to quote one and not the other and make it sound as though Dr Folger is a "liar" because he said he was looking forward to practicing law or whatever, and now that he is not doing that somehow casts an ugly shadow especially if you only show one candidate.. but if you also show what Dr Goodsite said as well, and see that she probably had a quote pretty similar to his , shows that both of them had the same intention of slowing down, spending time with the family, reading , relaxing etc... so I suggest you learn the difference between pettiness and being fair...or go back to the "kids room"

J Cooper

swissey you need to stick to flipping out over street lights with your now it all narcissistic attitude.

swiss family

Um Cooper... that would be KNOW IT ALL>>>> thanks ... get it right...OK?????lolololololol

happy time

This is very disappointing news. Sorry Sue.


Mrs. Goodsite was the only breath of fresh air in that room when I had to deal with the school board. She was straightforward and honest, while I got nothing but evasion from everyone else. It's very sad that they jerked her around this way. She was dedicated to our students. "The last MAN standing"? Really?? I think the board was afraid to hire anyone who didn't look exactly like them. At least Mr. Linder and Mr. Ritzenthaler showed some integrity! Why are some privileged white guys over 40 so scared??? Patriarchy strikes again. :-(

Fibber Mcgee

Let's see we want to hire Sue, but somehow we didn't ask her. How can you guys not communicate? Are you using smoke signals?


LINDER wanted to hire Sue, but there were 3 other board members who felt differently. If the board wasn't happy with the quality of candidates that applied, then it probably isn't a bad move to hire an EXPERIENCED Supt on an interim basis.


I am sure Ms. Goodsite would have been able to maintain the status quo but is she the person to take Norwalk schools to the next level? One of the ways to be sure the board was doing the best for the students of Norwalk would be to see how she stacked up against a robust list of candidates. Unfortunately when Doughty jumped ship for NCS he left the board with little time to put together a really good list of candidates. Hiring educators is a seasonal endeavor and Norwalk was late to the harvest.

The apparent confusion and Linder's comments certainly don't speak well for the Board, but ultimately I think they made the right decision for Norwalk. Promoting Ms. Godsite would have left them with another job to fill at the last minute and not allowed her to be evaluated within the context of a number of good candidates. We now have a qualified, seasoned professional in position to support the interim superintendent for a year until a properly timed search can be completed. Taking a year to be sure we get the best out there is a short delay compared to the long term effects of not getting the best for our children.

swiss family

Congratulations to Mr Folger... I do not know what the negotiations were , and I am kind of surprised that your contract is only for a year, but I hope that you can do such an outstanding job, in that year, that they extend your contract, and pull this school system together financially, harmoniously, and scholastically...

I do think it is unfair for people to quote what you said when you retired, without also quoting Mrs Goodsite and what she said when she retired, especially when they are pushing for her to fill that position so badly.I guess I have so little trust, and so little faith in the school board, that I see this move differently. I wonder why Mr Folger's contract is only for a year. I am concerned that they will put so much pressure on this man in this coming year that it will be unbearable for him, I think that if they can not find the "golden boy" they are seeking in the next year, Mrs Goodsite will have firmly decided that retirement is not for her and will do everything but campaign to come back , and I believe that the board will welcome her back with open arms,and make it appear as if she will be the saving grace that Norwalk needs.Of course this is just my own personal opinion...

I would like to point something out to anyone who got last Saturdays paper, with the 2014 "Fact Book" insert inside of it. it looked like it was a tribute to the Norwalk High school basketball champs on the cover.. if you have, and can turn to pages 5 through 7.. they have all of the local school systems listed.. and all of the school positions listed as well.. the interesting part is that of all of the local schools listed NORWALK SCHOOL SYSTEM IS THE ONLY SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT HAS A VICE SUPERINTENDENT POSITION.... the ONLY one...and we all know that in Norwalk that position pays slightly OVER $100,000.00 and when you add this to the Superintendents salary we are paying out nearly a QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS before we ever get to a teachers salary, or anyone else for that matter. The schools listed are Edison, Ehove, Monroeville, St Joe's, Norwalk, Norwalk Catholic Schools, New London, Plymouth,South Central, Western Reserve,and Willard... and ONLY NORWALK has a VICE position...... my question is WHY????of course these are my own opinion..


You don't have any concerns that Mr. Folger is double dipping?

swiss family

as a matter of fact DrD yes I do have a problem... if anyone retires , they should be retired.. that goes for Mr Folger, Dr Goodsite, anyone...I think that retiring is not something that should be taken lightly.. if you retire, it should be because it is best for you and your family, you have already given your best and it is time to shut down.. you know that you can not produce and contribute what is needed every day, or you choose not to any more.. so you retire... so Mr Folger should NOT be there nor should Ms Goodsite , now oir in the future in my own opinion


How quaint. Retirement isn't some metaphysical event, it is a financial decision. When you have worked long enough to meet the requirements for a pension, you have fulfilled your obligation and have earned that employment benefit. Having completed the terms of your employment and receiving the compensation that you earned should not limit your ability to enter into other employment agreements.

swiss family

I think if you were to as a random 100 people what they felt it meant to be retired... at least 75% of them would say that it means that you stopped working... and if you think that this is "Quaint", then maybe you do not understand what "quaint" say it means you have worked long enough to draw a pension..Please stop me when I am mistaken.. but I believe that most people can draw from a pension after 10 years of working.. granted it will not be much of a pension, but still they can draw from it, and yet I rarely see anyone work 10 years and you???and you are right I do not have problems if a retired person wants to enter into OTHER EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS... the key word being OTHER.. but if they want to come back and do the same job.. I do have a problem with that.. if they are ding the same job, then they should not have retired.. if they retire as Super at the school and want to open a little taco shop by all means do so.. or be a crossing guard.. do so..but the exact same job... NO WAY... that would be too ...what did you call it....oh yea ... "Quaint"

eat my shorts's picture
eat my shorts

Swiss, Perhaps people should just keel over and die when they retire. Would that satisfy you? Who cares if a person gets rehired (double dip) into the same profession they retired from? I congratulate people who get that opportunity, because it means they've earned it by working hard their whole life.

Stop now
As per the 10 year retirement;
MOST employed persons WITH a pension plan become vested in that plan after 5 years of service. That is now the law. That means you will some day qualify for a benefit. As to drawing from that plan after 10... You may with a confirmed disability, or upon reaching a certain age as defined by your particular pension plan. Most plans call for that age to be at least 60 years old to collect with just 10 years and you are correct that the amount is woefully short of substantial.

Some plans may be available to retire between the ages of 58 and 65 but that benefit will in most cases be reduced for starting to draw prior to 65 ( similar to social security drawing prior to 66). Other plans may have a specific "number" to reach, that is a combination of age and years of service accruing into a specific pension plan ie. 88 the number, work under the plan for 37 years and reach 51 years old. Bingo your number is 88 and you may retire with a full pension.
Now reality is these pensions are fading away and personal plans such as 401k etc. are replacing them. The jury is still out as to long term results of defined benefit plans vs. the personal savings/investment plan.

That's it in a nutshell. School is out. Retiring after 10 probably will not even pay for a health insurance plan with that monthly benefit!


"Congratulations to Mr Folger... I do not know what the negotiations were , and I am kind of surprised that your contract is only for a year, but I hope that you can do such an outstanding job, in that year, that they extend your contract, and pull this school system together financially, harmoniously, and scholastically..."

Doesn't you statement above contradict your reply to me?

swiss family

Well DrD if I were "King of the forest" so to speak... I would say that once you retire, you should be done... I mean Look at what we now have... we have a Public school system locally with a retired Super and a retired assistant Super, and a Catholic school system with a retired leader as well??? seems sort of odd don't you think???? if you are unsure ask Mikey...OK???

So now that I have established what I would WISH for.. and it is obvious that it doesn't matter one iota what I want, and since Mr Folger already has the job, wouldn't it be in the best interest of the community to stand behind the school boards choice???and wish him the best , and hope that he can do an outstanding job???and put the school system back together financially especially with the flood of the new incoming money from the just passed levy??? and still keep the curriculum level and grade level and quality the same as it has been in the past, and all done in a harmonious style, is that a bad thing to want for him to do Drd???
You and I both know, and probably Mikey too, that with Dr Goodsite sitting right there as the what I think is an unnecessary position in the first place, as a VICE Super, for another year, unfortunately they are going to slam this poor man into looking so incompetent, and try to open so many skeletons om him so that by the end of his year he will be happy to run as fast as he can to get the heck away from this crazy school board, thus opening the door for the Golden idol... Dr Goodsite.. to step in and be the saving grace to save the town from the ruin that the school was headed for at the hands of this man...even Tom Clancy and Stephen King could NOT write a story this perfect, with the players being maneuvered to play out as the school board wants them to be played... So DrD and Mikey, you will get what you have been hoping for, and what the board has been pretty quiet about, and that is that Dr Goodsite , although retired still, will serve as the Assistant Super... I wish they would give their salaries.. but if they won't I will when they are posted on so we can see how we are spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars between these 2 salaries... and have to ask ourselves if that might be just a little too much for 2 retired EX administrators...

eat my shorts's picture
eat my shorts

Swiss, you really are a simple narrow minded creature. I wouldn't be expecting too much for everyone to stand together behind Mr. Folger until the stench of scandal clears the air. Mr. Folger must be superhuman or something to fly right in at the last second and take the job from Sue. Having super powers is the only thing that makes sense, other than scandal.

swiss family

eat my...........can you read?? or better yet do you comprehend what you read??? I said if I had my wishes I do not think that any of the retired people were hired.. so I am NOT a huge fan of Mr Folger or Ms Goodsite, but since we have Mr Folger lets get behind him, at least until they start to expose all of the skeletons in his closet so they can trot out Dr Goodsite to have her take the reins to look like the savior... did you read anything likre that , that I wrote??? it is there you have to be able to comprehend what I wrote though....I know I am asking a lot from you read AND comprehend.. that is a lot I know and I apologize for that...did you want to just skip this and go color instead??? you can...and I have to thank you for calling me "simple" coming from someone like you I will take that as a compliment.. I am sure when you first looked at that Rubic's cube way back when , you thought that was "simple too... I mean it was a simple cube with different colored sides.. how hard could that be ... right??? and yet here it has been nearly 30 years and you still have it in a drawer somewhere and you still have not figured it out.... so thank you... to you I am "simple" and thank you for that!!!!lololol

eat my shorts's picture
eat my shorts

I would love to see the reflector impose a 50 words or less rule for comments.

swiss family

hahahahaha and you call me "simple... at least I have an attention span long enough to stay in place, to complete someone's blog. Please I am begging you.. DON"T READ MY BLOGS they are too long for you to keep your attention and interest anyway.. you don't understand what I say anyway..and there is no way to "dumb it down " any more for you.. so they are NOT MEANT FOR YOU..stick with the comics section, and the coloring contests..and you will be fine and "special