By MAX FILBY
One candidate has dropped out of the running to be the next superintendent of Findlay City Schools.
William B. “Brent” Welker, superintendent of Eastwood Local Schools, withdrew his name from consideration after a fire destroyed Eastwood’s administration building and bus garage on Saturday.
The building and bus garage were in Pemberville, just north of Bowling Green.
“After that, he said it just wasn’t the right time to leave any more,” Shane Pochard, Findlay school board president, said during Monday’s board meeting.
Despite Welker’s withdrawal, the board still hopes to make a decision sometime next week, Pochard said.
The day before the fire at Eastwood, Welker and the other two remaining candidates, Tod A. Hug, superintendent of Ayersville Local Schools, and Edward Kurt, superintendent of Margaretta Local Schools, took tours of Findlay schools and participated in question-and-answer sessions.
“It went really well, we had a good time getting to know our candidates,” Pochard said.
During their visits Friday, each candidate met with a different focus group of 30 students, teachers, administrators and community members. After the meetings, the focus groups provided feedback on each candidate to the school board.
The district’s superintendent search started in October and the board had planned to pick a new school chief by the start of winter break on Dec. 23.
Instead, the district decided to take additional time to seek out more applicants for the position, including finalists Hug and Welker. Kurt is the only finalist who initially applied for the job, Pochard said.
“This is such an important hire,” Pochard said. “We wanted to find someone who’s a good fit. We didn’t want to rush it.”
Current Findlay Superintendent Dean Wittwer was sought out by the district in 2005 when the district hired him away from Wapakoneta City Schools.
With a decision coming a week from now, Pochard said the new superintendent will have ample time to make the transition into the position with Wittwer’s assistance. Wittwer is scheduled to step down in July.
“That’s why we started this so early,” Pochard said. “We wanted to get someone who could be a good representative of the district.”
Send an E-mail to Max Filby