Friday, May 11, 2001

Talawanda assistant up for top job

Cagwin could be be superintendent as soon as Monday

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        OXFORD — The search for a new superintendent for the Talawanda schools might not go any further than administrative offices.

        Four years ago the Talawanda Board of Education conducted a national search after longtime Superintendent Dennis Leone resigned. This time the board approached only one person about the job — Assistant Superintendent Phil Cagwin — said William Vollmer, president of the school board.

        “We feel we're in a completely different situation than we were 3 1/2 years ago,” Mr. Vollmer said. “Phil's been in every building except the high school. He knows the district, the board, the people. We just feel he's ready.”

        Today, Mr. Cagwin faces board members in a closed- door interview. He has already interviewed this week with five groups consisting of teachers, support staff, administrators, students and community members. If all goes well today, Mr. Cagwin could be hired at Monday's Board of Education meeting.

        “The first five interviews went very well. They were very varied with their questions and really drilled him. We got positive feedback from the people,” Mr. Voll mer said. “A lot of our community recognize he's carried a heavy load the last three years and done a good job.”

        Mr. Cagwin, said he, too, was pleased with the interviews.

        “There are no surprises in this process,” Mr. Cagwin said. “Most people know me, my beliefs and values and my work values. I'm sharing my beliefs on the district and thoughts on the future and where I can help.”

        This is Mr. Cagwin's fourth year as assistant superintendent, his 21st year with the district. During his tenure, he has served as assistant principal at Kramer Elementary, special education director, and principal at Maud Marshall Elementary, Stewart Elementary and Talawanda Middle School.

        Before coming to Talawanda, Mr. Cagwin was a coach and teacher at Barry Middle School in Lebanon.

        “Regardless of what occurs, I'm very happy,” Mr. Cagwin said. “I like being assistant superintendent and I have a lot to do.”

        The next superintendent will replace Susan Cobb, superintendent since March 1998. Ms. Cobb submitted her letter of resignation in February, six months after the board decided not to extend her contract.

        Typically, the Talawanda board votes to extend administrators' contracts a year before they expire.


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