Stephanie Siddins. (Image courtesy/Ohio Department of Education)
Columbus, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s public education leader holds another position.
Stephanie Siddins, interim superintendent of public education for the Ohio Department of Education, announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that she is leaving her position to become deputy superintendent for the Upper Arlington City School District. Her announcement comes as the state’s board of education is scheduled to meet Monday and Tuesday, when it will vote on awarding a contract to a company that heads superintendent research in the state.
“It is an honor to serve students and schools in Ohio as a temporary superintendent and I am prepared to work towards a successful transition,” Siddence tweeted.
According to meeting materials, the board decided last November that it would hire a search firm to find the next supervisor. However, the materials for the April meeting do not name the chosen research firm. A spokesman for the Education Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Siddens has worked for the state’s Department of Education since 2006, including her time as Executive Director of the Student Support Center, according to her profile on the department’s website. Prior to assuming the state role, she held administrative and research positions at the K-12 and university levels.
With a tentative start date of July 1, Siddens’ departure comes from state education departments as lawmakers — from the executive level to the state assembly — have proposed sweeping legislation and budget changes that will have a significant impact on public education.
Several government bills affecting school curricula, homeschooling requirements, and the participation of transgender girls in sports are in various stages of discussion. In March, the Ohio Senate passed a bill stripping the state Board of Education of most of its powers, replacing it with a governor-appointed executive position.
And while lawmakers are setting the state’s biennial budget, school districts across the state have asked the legislature to fully embrace the budget priorities laid out in the Fair Schools funding plan — at the same time Gov. Mike DeWine and other Republicans have proposed expansions to the state’s private school voucher program.
Siddens took over when Stephen Ducklin resigned less than a month from the position due to concerns about his role in the recruitment process. Her resignation is pending approval by the State Council, which Siddins said she expected Tuesday. Upper Arlington Schools did not respond to a request for comment.