By Elizabeth Goussetis
A former Reynoldsburg principal has been named superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools.
Tina Thomas-Manning will begin working as superintendent-elect on May 1, sharing the post with Superintendent Steve Dackin until he retires July 31. Thomas-Manning will then take the full reins as superintendent on Aug. 1. Her contract will run to July 31, 2017.
“I love Reynoldsburg and the community and schools, I’m excited and thrilled to work in the community,” said Thomas-Manning. “It’s an awesome opportunity. This is a great place to lead.”
Thomas-Manning will be paid $157,500 annually, with a $10,000 annuity and $7,800 allowance for expenses such as automobile and communications. Because she opted out of the district’s contributions for health insurance, Medicare and pension, her total compensation will be $175,300, about $28,000 less than Dackin’s total compensation, although her base salary is $12,300 more. She is eligible for a bonus of up to 3 percent based on performance.
Since last year, Thomas-Manning has served as an associate superintendent at the Ohio Department of Education, where she lead the division of accountability and quality schools and reported to State Superintendent Richard Ross, a former Reynoldsburg superintendent.
Working at the state level “has given me a more global understanding of education and policies behind some of the reform efforts in Ohio,” Thomas-Manning said, adding that the experience has “broadened my horizons” and allowed her to “see how people do things differently.”
She said being behind the scenes at the state gave her a perspective on things that “we don’t always know and get to see when we’re busy on the ground.”
Previously, Thomas-Manning was executive director for Reynoldsburg’s middle and high school education, and has been principal of two of the district’s middle schools, both of which improved under her leadership. As principal of Hannah Ashton Middle School from 2005-12 the school’s performance went from a C to an A+. She also served as principal of Waggoner Road Middle School.
“I like to work collaboratively. I understand decisions have to be made, but I prefer to share in the decision making whenever possible,” Thomas-Manning said. “My number one goal will be to continue to focus on student achievement. Reynoldsburg has good reputation for getting results from kids.”
The Reynoldsburg Board of Education members did not conduct a search for a superintendent candidate. The board president and vice president approached Thomas-Manning to see if she was interested in the position, and she was, so each board member interviewed her individually, said district spokeswoman Tricia Moore.
“Tina Thomas-Manning was our first and only choice,” said Reynoldsburg Board of Education President Andrew Swope said.