The Olentangy Local School Board of Education has announced that it has extended an offer to Mr. Mark Raiff to lead the district, and become its next superintendent. Raiff is the district’s current chief academic officer. The board will vote on the hire at its next scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 25.
“We searched throughout all of Ohio, but we found that sometimes the best leader is the one we have trusted and worked with for so many years,” said Kevin O’Brien, school board president. “That is the case with Mr. Raiff. He is deeply committed to our students and schools as he understands the culture of excellence that we expect and believe in here at Olentangy. Throughout his 12 years with our district, he helped provide steady leadership during the years of highest student enrollment growth for Olentangy.”
Julie Wagner-Feasel, vice president of the school board, agreed. “The transition and learning curve for Mr. Raiff, regarding Olentangy will be a seamless one. He understands the complexities that accompany one of Ohio’s top 10 largest school systems and the demands for constant academic improvement. He is a proven leader in working with our community and families.”
During his tenure at Olentangy, Raiff has been entrusted with many responsibilities over time by the current superintendent, Dr. Wade Lucas. Some responsibilities have included leading and facilitating work accomplished through the district’s Cost Efficiency Committee and the Finance Committee while spearheading efforts to continue to improve the academic achievement of all students.
“I am really proud that Mr. Raiff was selected,” stated Lucas. “Under his academic leadership Olentangy has attained some of its highest achievement records ever and is competing with top tier districts in the state. The role of superintendent requires the wearing of many hats and no one is more ready than Mr. Raiff.”
Raiff started with Olentangy 12 years ago as the assistant principal at Olentangy High School. He then continued to be promoted within the district, first as principal at Olentangy Liberty High School and most recently as chief academic officer, responsible for the entire 19,000-student body. Prior to joining Olentangy, Raiff worked in some of central Ohio’s largest and most competitive school systems including Westerville City Schools and Bexley City Schools.
Mr. Raiff was one of 12 candidates vying for the position due to the retirement announcement of current superintendent, Dr. Wade Lucas. The other candidates came from both inside and out of Ohio. Of those 12, the board members selected six outstanding candidates to interview for the position. “The board was extremely pleased with the number of high-caliber candidates we had to select from, each with deep administrative or superintendent experience,” said School Board President Kevin O’Brien. “It was very difficult to narrow the list to the three final candidates for second interviews.”
On Wednesday, June 17, second interviews were conducted with Raiff, Superintendent of Euclid City Schools Keith Bell and Superintendent of Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools Scott Prebles. “Prior to those interviews the three candidates took the Achiever pre-employment assessment and board members conducted extensive reference checks,” explained O’Brien. “The June 17 interview process included second interviews with the five school board members along with interviews with groups of selected community members and leaders as well as administrators. All of this information was thoroughly evaluated and helped us make our final decision.”
“I am humbled, honored and thrilled to have the chance to lead the Olentangy Local School District. I share what we value and that is an excellent academic experience for every student combined with strong fiscal stewardship and operational leadership for the district. I have been with Olentangy during its most formative years; years that have transformed us into a high-performing school district. I look forward to leading the district as it continues to mature, and to even higher levels of excellence in the years to come,” states Mark Raiff.