Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Covington schools settle on Moreland


Superintendent search down to 1

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Jack Moreland will be the next superintendent of Covington Independent Schools, pending an official nod from the school board.

        Board members met Monday night to review the six applicants for the post, narrowing the list to one finalist, Mr. Moreland. The board plans to interview him March 1 before taking a final vote, expected to be unanimous approval in his favor.

        “The whole board is satisfied with the job that Jack is doing,” board Chairman Mike Fitzgerald said Tuesday. “The interview is primarily to see what direction he plans to go.”

        Mr. Moreland, 54, has been interim superintendent since July, following the resignation of James Kemp. Mr. Kemp declined a contract renewal last spring amid controversy following a state review that harshly criticized Covington's instruction and management.

        Coming out of retirement from public education, Mr. Moreland has been leading the district's reform efforts prompted by the state scrutiny. The 4,700-student district has posted some of the lowest test scores in the state the past several years.

        “The district has been in such turmoil,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “Things are settling down. We're moving in a strong positive direction, and, hopefully, we can keep doing that.”

        Mr. Moreland's selection won't likely come as a surprise to Covington employees and community members.

        Even before the search began in December, board members repeatedly praised Mr. Moreland's leadership and said he was the front-runner in the search.

        The board outlined a narrow focus for the search, voting to seek Kentucky applicants who had been superintendents or assistant superintendents. They also wanted someone who was familiar with the Kentucky Education Reform Act and has experience in urban schools.

        None of the other applicants met all of these criteria, Mr. Fitzgerald said.

        The board is not releasing the names of the other candidates.

        The district's search committee - made up of two teachers, a principal, a parent, a staff member and a board member - first reviewed the applicants and recommended Mr. Moreland.

        His major goal is keep the district focused on teaching and learning, Mr. Moreland said Tuesday.

        “Just making sure that every person knows what we're really about, that every child can and should learn to the best of their ability,” he said.

        However, he declined to comment on his anticipated selection until the board's final vote.

        Mr. Moreland was superintendent of Dayton, Ky., schools from 1978-96. He then led Northern Kentucky University as interim president for a year, followed by another year as interim chancellor of the technical branch of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. In 1998, he worked for Radac in Dayton, an automotive supply company, until coming to Covington in June.

        Mr. Moreland lives in Cold Spring with his wife, Phyllis. They have one son, 22, a senior at Eastern Kentucky University.

       



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