COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The leader of Ohio’s Department of Education resigned Friday from his position less than a month after taking it, according to the state board of education president.
State Superintendent Stephen Dackin took the position May 10 and previously served as superintendent at Columbus State Community College and Reynoldsburg City Schools. Gov. Mike DeWine appointed him to the Ohio State Board of Education in 2019, and he resigned Feb. 25, 2022, before his second term ended.
NBC4 obtained a copy of the former superintendent’s resignation notice, in which he brought up scrutiny he was facing and also refused “any compensation for [his] service in that position.”
“Concerns have been raised about my recent acceptance of the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction,” Dackin wrote. “I don’t want ‘revolving door’ questions to distract from the important work ahead for schools, educators and especially the children.”
The concerns Dackin referenced stem from a Cleveland.com news report covering his involvement in the hiring process for the superintendent position as a member of the board of education. Before applying for the job, Dackin was the supervising member of the committee that looked for applicants, modified the job advertisement and had access to a list of all of the candidates, emails showed. Timestamps on them showed Dackin was involved in conversations around the hiring process up until at least Jan. 18.
On Feb. 24 — One day before he resigned his position on the Ohio State Board of Education — Dackin told an attorney on the Ohio Ethics Commission he wanted to apply for the superintendent position, an email showed. The attorney told him he had to resign from the board before he could try to get the job.
Board of Education President Charlotte McGuire said that Dr. Stephanie Siddens will take over as interim superintendent, effective immediately. McGuire said the State Board of Education plans to officially appoint her in the interim position at its June meeting.