Thursday, September 28, 2000

Two candidates remain for Fairfield

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD — The field of candidates for superintendent of Fairfield Schools was narrowed to two Wednesday.

        The school board selected as finalists Robert Farrell, assistant superintendent in the Forest Hills Schools, and Gary Pack, director of Tennessee's Blount County Schools.

        The two were chosen following second interviews the board conducted last week, said Kay Crain, Fairfield Board of Education president. Fifteen people applied for the position, of whom six were initially interviewed. Three were called back for second interviews.

        A few board members will visit each candidate's district next week and report back to the board before a final decision is made, Mrs. Crain said. She said the board hopes to name a superintendent in two weeks.

        “Student achievement will be the No. 1 priority when he comes in, followed closely by finance,” Mrs. Crain said. “We know there's a levy in our future.”

        Whoever is selected will re place Charles Wiedenmann, who is retiring Dec. 31. He has been Fairfield superintendent for nearly eight years.

        Mr. Farrell, a 26-year educator, is beginning his fourth year as assistant superintendent in the 7,800-student Forest Hills district, one of only a few statewide to achieve all 27 performance standards on the Ohio School District Report Card.

        “In my study and conversations (with Fairfield educators) I found the students are central in the decision-making in Fairfield. I think Fairfield is an excellent district striving to be better,” Mr. Farrell said. “My educational focus is a child focus where all decisions are based on what's best for that child.”

        Mr. Pack has headed the Blount County Schools, with 11,000 students, for three years and has been an educator for 30 years, mostly in Kentucky. He served one year as assistant chief of staff in the Kentucky Department of Education.

        “My philosophy as an educator is that we are teachers first, in everything we do,” Mr. Pack said.


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- Two candidates remain for Fairfield
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