Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a tautology

A tautology is a redundant statement, a definition, or a proposition that is always true. In the instance below, the tautology is this: an excellent superintendent is a highly paid superintendent.

In a few days, you will see this tautology in action. Here's the way it works: by setting a large salary (likely $250K), the board can declare the superintendent excellent. I mean, really, who would pay that kind of money for an average one? (The Olentangy board, of course.)

Afterwards, the board will proclaim the new superintendent to be the best of the best. Ironically, they said the same about Davis, and Reimer before him. The quality of superintendents in Olentangy, when graphed against time, moves sharply upward and to the right. They just keep getting better and better.

The board gets a shiny, new Christmas toy and the taxpayers get stuck with the bill.

note: Don't forget your double tax increase next year as you get stuck with the bill for the new levy and the bill for the escrow catch up -- likely $1500 per average home.


During an executive session on Tuesday, December 9, the Olentangy Board of
Education selected two finalists for the vacant Olentangy Superintendent
position. These candidates will meet for a second round of interviews with
the Board of Education on Tuesday, December 16. In addition both candidates will participate in a community dialogue session with a mixed group of community and staff members as well as a meeting with several members of the press.

The two candidates are Wade Lucas, Ed.D., with Green Local Schools in Green, Ohio and Dean Wittwer, Ed.D with Findlay City School in Findlay, Ohio.

Lucas holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio; a master’s degree in education from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio; and an educational doctorate in educational administration from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. He has been the Superintendent at Green Local since April 2007 and also served as Assistant Principal/Athletic Director and Superintendent of Coshocton City Schools in Coshocton, Ohio for ten years prior to his time at Green Local. He was an elementary school teacher for nine years in Coshocton City Schools and Mt. Vernon City Schools from 1989 to 1988.

Wittwer has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wittenberg University, A Master’s of Arts and a Master’s of Fine Arts degrees from Miami University, Master’s of Arts in educational administration from the University of Dayton and an educational doctorate degree in educational leadership and administration from Bowling Green State University. In addition to currently servings as the Superintendent at Findlay City Schools, he is also the Superintendent at Millstream Career Technology Center and served as the Superintendent at Wapakoneta City Schools from 1993-2005. He served as Principal at Northridge Elementary School, Assistant Principal at Wapakoneta High School and taught at Mechanicsburg Schools and Shawnee High School from 1974-1989. He also taught classes and some summer programs at Miami University.

The 45-minute community dialogue includes representatives from the district’s Finance and Audit Committee, Development Committee, Olentangy For Kids political action group, Olentangy Teachers Association, Olentangy Education Foundation and the administration. The board has invited these individuals to become part of this process to provide input, knowing that the final decision related to selection of a candidate remains with the board. In addition, each candidate will individually meet with members of press for approximately 15 minutes. This will allow the candidates to share information about themselves with the media.“

From the beginning this search has been about finding the best candidate to fit the unique needs of the Olentangy Local School District,” said Board of Education President Scott Galloway. “The community and staff sessions as well as the media interviews provide an opportunity to learn more about both candidates, while including a cross section of key stakeholders within the district to learn what the candidates may bring to the Olentangy community.”

The Olentangy Board of Education will meet in a public session at 5:30 p.m. prior to entering into executive session for candidate interviews at 6:00 p.m. This meeting will take place in conference room B of the district’s Administrative Offices at 814 Shanahan Road in Lewis Center. Agenda’s for all board meetings are available at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting through the district’s Web site at


Anonymous said...

First lets' take Wade. Wade Lucas, Ed.D., with Green Local Schools in Green, Ohio. First he went to O.U. and got a lousy teaching degree which got him a job as a grade-school teacher in Coshocton, Ohio. Ever been to Coshocton? Then he got another worthless "education" degree from Ashland. His, ahem, doctorate came from New Jersey. I wonder. Was that a mail-order degree? He worked as usual as an athletic director before moving on up. Has he only been at Green since '07? He must be superlative.
Well worth 250K.

Anonymous said...

Dublin does the same thing. After they had to boot their last supt. because of her bad behavior (having previously heaped all kinds of praise and money on her) they got another one that they could pay even more money to. Assuring the taxpayer that this one is a keeper.

Anonymous said...

I found the following on Green's Local Schools district website. Apparently Dr. Lucas doesn't have to follow the "commitment to open and honest communications."

What are we doing at Olentangy?


Rumor Has It
Green Local Schools is committed to open and honest communication with patrons, parents, students and staff. Truthful, reliable information is the foundation of this commitment.

We take rumors seriously. They can be damaging, they can make people nervous, they can create feelings of fear and dread. At best they waste time and make us less productive; at worst, they damage morale and chip away at the level confidence that community members have in their public schools.

Anonymous said...

WOW.... Lucas is a perfect fit for this board. He likes behind doors discussions and based on Green's board policy, public participation is worse than our current policy at OLSD.

From the Green Website:

-Public Participation at Board Meetings:
The Board of Education recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest.

Any person or group wishing to be on the agenda shall register their intent with the Superintendent no later than five (5) working days before the meeting and include name and address of the participant, group affiliation, if and when appropriate, and the topic to be addressed.

Such requests shall be subject to the approval of the Superintendent and the Board President.

Anonymous said...

humm....mail order degree from Seton Hall...just like Davis!

Anonymous said...

You haven't even met the man and you know next to nothing about him, yet you are throwing him under the bus. Why? Shouldn't you at least have a decent reason and/or logical reason to disparage him before you make assumptions about him and his ability to lead? Where did you earn your lousy degree?

Jim Fedako said...

8:14 --

Here's his dissertation.

There is nothing of value in it. And it's proof positive that an EdD is worthless -- though, I suspect it will cost me more tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Gee, how would we get any information about him? Other than the little that we got from that article, about which we can make some observations. It's all so secret, don't you know. And anyway, who are we? Just the people who pay through the nose for these gems. Why should we be told anything about them before or after their hiring.

Anonymous said...

"The 45-minute community dialogue includes representatives from the district’s Finance and Audit Committee, Development Committee, Olentangy For Kids political action group, Olentangy Teachers Association, Olentangy Education Foundation and the administration. The board has invited these individuals to become part of this process..." Well, isn't that special. They included the toadies from the OFK bunch.

Anonymous said...


you...i mean the board...i mean Demon promised we would get the best candidates from the best districts. Green Local is ranked #113 and Findlay is ranked #347....Medina was 90th. For those keeping score...Olentangy is 70th.

Last search you turned down #25 and #72.

Perhaps you should accuse yourselves...I mean the board, of throwing the candidates under the bus. Because of the covert, Dimon wants his guy search, process, we will never have an opportunity to vette the candidates.

We have to trust the 5 community members chosen by Dimon, the media which you probably won't invite the big boys, and the administration. What a deal...picking your own boss!!!!

By the way my degree with honors, is from a highly rated Big Ten. University.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't realized that Wade Lucas was an old buddy of Scott Davis. From his dissertation Acknowledgements: "Finally, I thank my friends from Cohort VIII, especially Freddie Evans and Scott Davis." Interesting.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:15. Kinda incestuous isn't it? But that's typical.

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up to all of you in the Olentangy district.... if Wade Lucas and his wagon come to town, do NOT make the mistake that Green did and take this family under your wing and into your hearts. We have cooked for this family and prayed for them through their many difficulties since they moved here. We not only welcomed them, we reached out to them. We were led to believe that they wanted this to be their HOME.... I guess only until they say bigger dollar signs calling them to your community. Your HOME must pay better than ours!

Anonymous said...

I am not saying I agreed with the process or that Wade or the other guy are good candidates. All I was saying is that given the little that was known about him, it seemed early to throw Wade (or the other candidate) under the bus.

Such negativity or cynicism accomplishes little. Had you read his dissertation prior to commenting? I did not suggest or even hint at Wade's merit as a super; I simply said that it makes sense to have a logical reason for a decision. At least Jim provided information about his dissertation, which now gives people further information by which to form an opinion.

Simply making unsubstantiated accusations as to someone's worth as a superintendent based on where he earned his degree is futile given that you have not met him. I assume you would appreciate the same courtesy. As far as the other districts' ranks... were they worse or better (using the same ranking system) when these candidates came on board at those districts? That could be used as a measuring stick as well. Not just where they are, but where they were and where they are now.

Congratulations on your degree with honors from a Big Ten university; I guess it qualifies you to look down your nose on the degrees others earn. It didn't take me a Big Ten degree to learn the Golden Rule, though my Big Ten degree and private university Master's degrees did teach me that a lot of people learn to be self important based on where they earn their degrees.

Interesting point: Jim provides stats, facts and a wide berth of knowledge from reading when he writes his opinions, and while I don't always agree with him, I do respect that. Most of the other people who post on this site don't come close to the level of work he puts into backing his opinions. They prefer to be snooty and childish: adults calling people names and positing opinions with no backing whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Who are these invited "community members" (lapdogs of the board, I presume)?

Take your pick. Do I get a prize if I get two right???

Stacy Dunbar
Elaine Eddy
Krisent Fenker

Can't wait to hear who they are.

Anonymous said...

Where's Hooie getting her PhD? eBay University?

All she has to do is have the winning big and--VOILA!--she can call herself "Dr. Hooie".

Oooo--a PhD in "Educational Leadership", or whatever euphematic nonsense they apply to that earned-nothing degree these days.

Get a real degree, then get a real job. Wait-wait...hmmm...get an advanced degree with no effort...then get a lucrative position to do nothing. For a bunch of know-nothing, do-nothing bozos they're actually pretty smart!

What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Smith has been vindicated.

She said the search was rigged the last time and she was right. And she bascially said the same thing this time, though not directly--but her concerns have been proven.

Way to go, Dimon! Thanks for getting us some unimpressive candidates. You must be proud of yourself for asking the finalistts from the #28 and #72 districts to withdraw their names in the last search--all because your secret search was blown and you threw a tantrum, (I can only imagine the kind of self talk that went on in Dimon's head: "Well--if I can't hire who I want to hire, then NOBODY gets hired!").

You did us real proud.

Anonymous said...

Big Ten person here....if you read my post, I didn't criticize his degree from OU....I just answered your question of "where did you get your degree"

Please don't spew your false statements at me. I am not negative. All here are sick and tired of the district, ie: Dimon, trying to dictate what should be public.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:08 -

Congratulations, you have correctly selected two of the few "public" panelists that are participating in the Olentangy Let's Make a Deal - Superintendant Secret Search process!

Now, sit back and relax as I tell you about what you are about to recieve for your amazing ability to predict the future:

Behind door number 1 is (drum roll please): A SHINY NEW SPOON! That's right. A new shiny spoon brought to you by the OLSD BOE. This shiny spoon will take your attention away from what is really going on behind closed doors. But wait, there's more.

Behind door number 2 is (drum roll please) an envelope filled with HIGHER TAX BILLS! With new superior talent comes new high paying salaries, incentives, stipends, relo costs, real estate appraisal fees, housing crash bailout coverage commitments, welcome to Olentangy bonuses, more stipends, and free cell phone service for life. Dare I forget the tax deferred anuity, 5 year philanthropy parachute package, and one paid day off per week.

BUT WAIT! It gets better - Behind door number 3 is (the suspense must be killing you) Arm Extenders! Arm extenders you must be thinking to yourself? Why yes! I'm sorry, but these aren't for you. These are for the district officials who have now proven to the public that going underground yielded the best candidates and the best Superintendant for OLSD. These extenders will make it easier for the district to pat themselves on the back more frequently without risking injury. The gold plated one is for Dimon.

PS: These were provided tax free by OFK.

Anonymous said...


You appear GREEN with envy!! How could assume that the district leadership would select someone who will continue to pay Scottie's cell phone for life....only a friend would do that!

Yes...Dimon has selected the best candidate of the ranked 113 and the other 347. I think 113 has won the mystery search. After 16 months the Green candidate has bailed out for Greener, yes your tax dollars, pasture.

I hope the background check that Dimon did on Google and it was very thorough...yes...three business days and voila...background check and major job offer.....but wait...didn't they just interview the good doctor just a few hours ago for the second time? Maybe Dimon the backfground specialist should check yahoo and msn too.

Bet you some Green that someone will be announced tomorrow without a public disclosure of a thing. It just makes me so Green with envy!
Scott would be so proud for leaving a Green legacy!

Anonymous said...

You should all really take a moment to contact Wade and make an appointment to meet with him. I think you might find him to be open, genuine and a very decent man. We can surely be big enough to do that, can't we?