COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The leader of public education in Ohio is taking another position.
Stephanie Siddens, the Ohio Department of Education’s interim superintendent of public instruction, announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that she is leaving the role to become deputy superintendent of Upper Arlington City School District. Her announcement comes as the State Board of Education is slated to meet Monday and Tuesday, when it will vote to award a contract to a firm heading the state’s superintendent search.
“It is an honor to serve the students and schools of Ohio as interim superintendent and I stand ready to work on a successful transition,” Siddens tweeted.
According to meeting materials, the board decided last November it would recruit a search firm to find the next superintendent. Materials for the April meeting do not, however, name the search firm selected. A spokesperson for the education department did not respond to a request for comment.
Siddens has worked in the state’s education department since 2006, including her time as the executive director of the Center for Student Supports, according to her profile on the department’s website. Before taking a state role, she held administrative and research positions at the K-12 and collegiate level.
With a tentative start date of July 1, Siddens’ departure from the state’s education departments comes as lawmakers — from the executive level to the statehouse — have proposed sweeping legislation and budgetary changes that will have substantial impact on public education.
Multiple statehouse bills affecting school curricula, homeschool requirements and transgender girls’ participation in sports are in various stages of debate. In March, the Ohio Senate passed a bill stripping the state board of education of most of its power, replacing it instead with an executive position appointed by the governor.
And as lawmakers nail down 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 School 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 Dacklin resigned less than a month into the role over concerns about his role in the hiring process. Her resignation pends the state board’s approval, which Siddens said she expects Tuesday. Upper Arlington schools did not respond to a request for comment.