CPS superintendent semi-finalist withdraws name from search

CINCINNATI, OH -Cincinnati Board of Education President Eileen Cooper Reed says one of the three semi-finalists to become Superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools has withdrawn from consideration.

Christopher Hammill, an assistant superintendent of Detroit Public Schools, advised Cooper Reed last night that he needed to stay in Michigan for personal reasons, she said.

The development means that the two other candidates recommended for Board consideration by the Community Advisory Committee on March 20 - Interim Superintendent Mary Ronan and Lakewood (Ohio) City Schools Superintendent David C. Estrop - will participate in community meetings and interviews with the Board in mid-April.

Ronan is scheduled on April 15 and Estrop on April 16; specific times of the public meetings will be announced later.

Cooper Reed said she expects the Board could reach its decision as soon as April 17.

"The Community Advisory Committee set a very high bar of support for all the candidates that they forwarded to the Board, doing the heavy lifting in this selection process," she said.  "We feel very good about the work to date, and look forward to completing the process by selecting a Superintendent who is the best fit for our students, district and city."

The Community Advisory Committee is a broad-based community group representing diverse stakeholders in Cincinnati. They were appointed from a wide range of organizations with a variety of perspectives - including parents, the faith-based community, unions, neighborhoods, government, businesses, foundations, civil rights organizations and charities.

The Board began its search last year to find a successor for Rosa Blackwell, who retired effective July 31, 2008. Since last August 1, Ronan has served as Interim Superintendent.