Aurora City School District Superintendent Pat Ciccantelli has announced his retirement effective July 31.
The Aurora Board of Education will vote whether to accept his resignation at the Jan. 27 Board of Education meeting, which takes place at 7 p.m. at the Aurora High School Library, 109 W. Pioneer Trail.
"Pat Ciccantelli has been a great asset to the Aurora Schools," said Gerald Kohanski, president of the school board. "I would say we would definitely like to have somebody named by April, so there would be some transition time."
Ciccatelli has served as the district’s superintendent since 2015, earning a salary of about $145,000 this year, according to Kohanski. He came to the district to serve as the Aurora High School principal, then was the assistant curriculum director before becoming superintendent.
He will be moving to Bluffton, South Carolina, with his wife, Lynn, and son, Brian.
"I have been blessed to have 14 years of experience in one of the finest school districts in the country," he said. "It was truly a difficult decision to leave this district. We have a strong administrative team and a tremendous staff. We have grown and developed through the leadership of a compassionate board of education and a supportive community. I will miss all of the great people here, but I have very fond memories of a great experience during my time here in Aurora."
Kohanski said the district’s success in recent years "reflect the quality of his leadership."
"His extensive background in business and education enabled him to significantly elevate the performance of the high school, greatly enhance the position of assistant superintendent for curriculum, and become one of the premier superintendents in northeast Ohio," said Kohanski. "Pat is a very bright and logical thinker who knows how to lead a high achieving school district. The Aurora Schools' results certainly reflect the quality of his leadership. I have had an excellent, collegial relationship with him as board president, and I know the other board members value him highly. We certainly wish him well in his retirement and are happy that he will be reunited with his family and grandchildren in South Carolina."
Kohanski said the school board will decide by the end of this month whether it would conduct an internal or external search for superintendent. Either way, he said, work needs to begin soon.
"If you do internal search, that could create other administrative openings that would need to be backfilled," he explained, adding it’s been a long time since the district conducted an external search for a superintendent. "[Former superintendent] Russ Bennett was an internal candidate; Pat was an internal candidate. They know our culture; they know our goals, our strategies, our academic requirements. That doesn’t exclude bringing someone in from outside."
The district’s "stability" makes this a safe time to leave, said Ciccantelli,
"Because of our financial stability, academic success and commitment to the quality education programming and services, now is the best stepping-off point for my 14-year career at Aurora," said Ciccantelli. "We have built up a tremendous trajectory, demonstrated high performance and a multitude of awards and recognitions through the years, and I am confident that this will continue and keep improving long into the future."
Ciccantelli said has is "honored" to have worked with the teachers, staff and school board in Aurora.
Reporter Bob Gaetjens can be reached at 330-541-9440, firstname.lastname@example.org or @bobgaetjens_rpc.