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Akron School Board Chooses Eight to Interview for Superintendent, Including District CFO


There is just one internal candidate on the list of those chosen to be interviewed by the Akron Board of Education to become the district's next superintendent.

Ryan Pendleton, who currently serves as the district's Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer (CFO), is one of eight finalists selected Thursday.

The board considered 27 candidates who applied for the position. In a statement, Board President N.J. Akbar said they selected eight for first-round interviews following "deliberative and thoughtful discussion."

Besides Pendleton, the others to be interviewed are:

  • Shaun Black, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Detroit Public Schools Community District
  • Vilicia Cade, Chief Academic Officer, Sandusky City Schools
  • Christine Fowler-Mack, Chief Portfolio Officer, Cleveland Municipal School District
  • Felisha Gould, Assistant Superintendent, Cleveland Heights-University Heights
  • Rebecca Kaye, Chief of Information and Accountability, Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Markay Winston, Assistant Superintendent, Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Sandy Womack, Area Superintendent, Columbus City Schools

The board plans to conduct first-round interviews March 23 and March 25. It will narrow the list following those interviews and invite candidates who are not local to visit Akron, meet with the board and the community.

The district has been led by David James since August 2008. He announced in August 2020 that he would retire at the end of the current school year.

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A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.