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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Three New Members Named to Youngstown Academic Distress Commission To Help Continue Improvement Effort
Columbus, OH - Three new members have been named to the Youngstown Academic
Distress Commission. Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan Heffner made
the appointments today as part of the ongoing effort to support academic
improvement in the Youngstown City School District.
Heffner has appointed Dick Ross, former superintendent of Reynoldsburg City
Schools, to serve as Commission chairman. Dr. Ross replaces Debra A. Mettee, who
resigned earlier this year. He retired in 2008, after spending nearly three
decades as a superintendent in Ohio schools.
Also appointed as at-large members of the Commission were Youngstown businessman
Michael Garvey and Adrienne O’Neill, a veteran educator with extensive
experience working with urban schools. They take the place of Sherri
Lovelace-Cameron and James Hall.
"We are grateful for the tireless efforts of Ms. Mettee and the other
commissioners,” Heffner said. “The next chapter of this important work will
build upon their contributions.”
The new members will participate in the Commission meeting next Tuesday in
Youngstown with Superintendent Heffner and other staff from the Ohio Department
of Education. The Superintendent said he will ask the Commission to review and
build upon its draft improvement plan that was submitted earlier this year.
“It is essential that the Youngstown school board, the district leadership team
and the Commission work in partnership to implement deep changes that will give
the children of Youngstown the education they need for the future,” Heffner
said. “The urgency to really improve and not tinker around the edges is critical
to Youngstown’s success as Ohio transitions from a minimum competency system to
one that is based on new, rigorous academic standards. We must move beyond what
exists so our students can get and keep good jobs when they graduate.”
The Youngstown Academic Distress Commission was created in 2010 under an Ohio
law that requires direct state involvement when a district receives a rating of
Academic Emergency on its annual report card and has failed to make
Adequate Yearly Progress for four or more consecutive years. Three members are
appointed by the superintendent of public instruction and two, who must be
school district residents, are appointed by the local school board president.
Youngstown’s current district rating is Academic Watch.
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Biographies of New Youngstown Academic Distress Commission Members
Dick Ross retired in 2008, after a distinguished career as a leader in
Ohio public education. From 1988-2008, he was superintendent of Reynoldsburg
City Schools, a diverse district near Columbus. Dr. Ross previously served as
superintendent of Bryan City and the Ottawa-Glandorf Local school districts in
Ohio. He is a current member and former chair of the Governor’s Commission on
Dispute Resolution and Conflict Mediation. Dr. Ross previously served in
numerous leadership positions, including as president of both the Franklin
County Superintendent’s Association and the School Study Council of Ohio.
Michael Garvey is president M-7 Technologies in Youngstown. Mr. Garvey
has long been a provider of engineered solutions for heavy industry. For the
past eight years, he has been involved in industrial metrology and 3D imaging.
He transformed his family’s struggling business, Trumbull Bronze Co., into a
high-tech precision measurement and manufacturing company known as M-7
Technologies. The company reduces manufacturing costs, improves product and
service quality and reduces the cycle time required to manufacture or repair
heavy industrial products through the application of digital database technology
and advanced measurements systems.
Adrienne O'Neill, Ed.D., is the president of the Stark Education
Partnership. Dr. O’Neill came to the Partnership from Canton City Schools
where she served as the chief education officer for the district and the Timken
Regional Campus project. Formerly, she served as president for the Academy of
Business College in Phoenix and established the Academy of Technology High
School. As an associate professor, she helped design the Educational Leadership
Doctoral Program at Johnson and Wales University. Dr. O’Neill also served as an
assistant professor of Education at Caldwell College and the director of
graduate studies and assistant professor in the Educational Leadership
Department at William Paterson University. For 16 years, she served as a
superintendent of schools in New Jersey. She also served as an assistant
superintendent for curriculum and instruction, teacher and principal in the
state of New York for 13 years.