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Q&A: Huron Schools' new superintendent

Jessica Cuffman • Aug 27, 2012 at 9:02 AM

After a summer of turmoil at Huron Schools, the district is moving forward under the leadership of deputy superintendent John Fernbaugh.

Fernbaugh arrived here following a temporary stint at Woodmore Schools in Sandusky County.

An educator with 34 years of experience, he was only supposed to work at Woodmore for a year.

After taking the district's state rating to excellent in a such a short time -- a two-level jump -- he stayed on for an extra year to keep the momentum going.

Among his other accomplishments there, he got voters to approve a new operating levy and a bond issue.

The Huron school board has recruited Fernbaugh for a temporary superintendent's spot, while termination proceedings against superintendent Fred Fox play out.

For his part, Fernbaugh said he doesn't know much about what went on with the superintendent before he got to the district.

"And I don't care to know about it," he said. "I'm looking to make a positive difference with the teachers and students, as well as community members and parents."

He took a few moments with the Register to talk about what's in store for Huron Schools in the months ahead.

Q: What do you bring, in terms of experience, to Huron Schools?

JF: I bring a wealth of diverse experiences. I'm a strong communicator, and a good part of that communication is listening.

I've started a newsletter to send out every Friday. I'm coming to an excellent organization with an excellent group of people to work with. It's an outstanding school district and we'll be working to make it better.

Q: Do you face any particular challenges in getting the district running with the ongoing investigation into superintendent Fred Fox?

JF: I've met with the administrative team many times already, as well as the board. It's our goal to keep our focus on student learning and extracurricular activities. It is a non-issue in running the schools.

Those are things we covered in the interview, and I told them I was very visible and accessible. I will follow through on those.

Q: What attracted you to Huron?

JF: The challenge of being in a school district already of high quality with high expectations -- and we expect to continue to meet those expectations.

I want (residents) to know that they can contact me at any time, with questions or concerns or if they have anything to discuss. I have an open-door policy.

Fernbaugh may be reached at 419-433-1234, ext. 5025 or jfernbaugh@huronhs.com.

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