Tom Tucker was hired by the Wellington school district as its interim superintendent at a special board meeting Aug. 4.
He will work the upcoming school year with a $400 per day pay rate, said Greg Ring, superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Lorain County.
Ring is serving as Wellington’s superintendent after the departure of Dennis Mock. He will remain in the position until Aug. 29 when Tucker is expected to take over.
Ring said that despite the hiring of Tucker, the district will remain focused on a long-term hire.
“A lot of times things just happen with superintendents,” he said. “Mr. Mock had no intention of leaving but a special situation came up and he decided to pursue it. You just never know. We hope that in the spring we’ll get someone hired in who will be here for many years. Sometimes smaller districts have problems holding on to superintendent for long periods of time.”
Tucker served as Lorain City Schools superintendent from 2012 until his retirement in 2015. Prior to that, he worked in Lorain from 1980 to 2008 in a number of positions including human resources director and teachers’ union negotiator. He left there in 2008 to become the Sandusky Schools’ assistant superintendent, then was promoted to superintendent in 2010.
By the time he left Lorain last year, he had passed a levy, balanced the budget, brought back art and music programs that had been cut, and increased enrollment.
The Wellington Schools will hope for similar results under Tucker’s leadership as it faces similar challenges.
Tina Gabler, who was appointed school treasurer after the departure of Michael Pissini in June, worked with Tucker at META Solutions in Columbus in 2015. She said like her own position there, Tucker’s as account manager was eliminated by the company in cost-cutting moves.
“We didn’t work together directly but I do know him,” said Gabler. “I really like him and he’s a true gentlemen. He’s a good guy who was caught in the rift at META just like I was. He’s reputable, well liked, and has a lot of experience. He will be a great interim with and have boots on the ground the day he gets here.”
Gabler said high turnover is a problem in smaller districts all over the state and that the pool for new superintendents is very shallow right now.
“I feel like my generation didn’t do a good enough job with recruiting the next generation,” she said. “If you look on different state websites, there are all kinds of superintendent and treasurer positions available. There need to be more people out at the colleges letting people know about these career paths.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Greg Ring speaks at a Wellington school board meeting Aug. 4. He will serve as acting superintendent in the district until newly-appointed interim superintendent Tom Tucker takes over Aug. 29.