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Lorain City Schools selects Dr. Jeff Graham as new CEO

Lorain City Schools BOE and Academic Distress Commission have tapped former Lorain Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Graham to be the district's new CEO.

LORAIN, Ohio — The Lorain City School District may be turning to the past to help shape their future.The Academic Distress Commission and Board Of Education have officially tapped former superintendent, Dr. Jeff Graham as the group’s top choice for CEO.

“Dr. Graham brings a wealth of experience to Lorain,” says Lorain teacher and member of the Academic Distress Commission, Steve Cawthon. “He was actually the superintendent here in Lorain a few years back and when House Bill 70 took over, he was kind of pushed out the door. So, I think having someone that doesn’t have to familiarize themselves with not only Lorain, but how Lorain works made him a real prime candidate.”

It’s been a roller coaster ride for parents, students and teachers at Lorain City Schools over the past few years. The state took over after a series of failing grades and appointed David Hardy Junior as CEO. Hardy’s tenure was marked in clashes with the school board, staff and some parents before he was relieved of his duties last year.

Cawthon says, “At one point, the staff of the high school was let go and had to reapply, then that was taken back. Employees were threatened to not get their pay. There were a lot of issues going on.”

The power structure will be the same, with Dr. Graham taking the role of CEO and having final say over matters. However, Cawthon says he and the commission feel they found a collaborative leader that teachers, parents and the board can all work with.

“He understands this district, or any school district, it can’t be successful if you have a dictatorial type of attitude toward your board,” says Cawthon. “Education is about building relationships with people, it’s about building relationships with your kids and community. If you have those things working together, then you can have success.”

The contract still needs to be worked out and finalized before dr. graham can officially take over, but the entire community is hoping that the roller coaster is ending and a calm, bright future for the district awaits.

Cawthon says, “I feel like there’s a sense of renewed hope and a renewed sense of spirit in the schools.”

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