Forest Hills Board of Education selects new superintendent

The board chose from a diminished pool of candidates after one dropped out last week.
Nagel Middle School in the Forest Hills School District
Nagel Middle School in the Forest Hills School District(Provided)
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 4:27 PM EDT
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ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - The new superintendent of the Forest Hills School District will be Larry Hook, currently superintendent of Springboro Community City Schools, according to an FHSD spokesperson.

The school board will formally vote on Hook’s appointment during a special meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday at Nagel Middle School.

The board performed a “rigorous interview process” with Hook prior to Monday’s announcement, and the parties have reached a tentative agreement in contract negotiations, the spokesperson says.

The announcement follows last week’s whirlwind of news surrounding Forest Hills, a district of 7,381 students on Cincinnati’s east side.

On Wednesday, the board passed a so-called “culture of kindness’ resolution barring critical race theory and anti-racism practices from the classroom. The following day, Russ Fussnecker, a superintendent candidate alongside Hook, withdrew his name from contention.

Fussnecker is currently the superintendent of Edgewood City Schools in Butler County. He was one of five finalists competing for Scot Prebles’ job, our media partners at the Enquirer reported Thursday.

Prebles will leave Forest Hills in July to become the superintendent of Bay Village City Schools near Cleveland.

Hook, who received a masters degree in education from Xavier University, has nearly 30 years of administrative experience, including serving as superintendent of Carlisle Local School District from 2010-2020.

In Springboro, Hook organized efforts to pass a 2 mill permanent improvement levy, which won by 70 percent of the vote, according to the district spokesperson.

“I am truly honored and delighted to be presented with this opportunity,” Hook said Monday. “I look forward to working with students, staff, parents and the community to ensure Forest Hills maintains its strong commitment to academic excellence and student success, both in and out of the classroom.”

K-12 Business Consulting led the statewide search, which solicited feedback from stakeholders including students, staff, parents and community members, the spokesperson says.

“I am confident that Mr. Hook will be an excellent addition to our school district,” FHSD Board of Education President Linda Hausfeld said. “His passion for students and education, as well as his ability to unite all stakeholders, sets a strong foundation for the future of Forest Hills School District.”

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