Twinsburg High principal on short list for Ravenna superintendent post
Seven people, including the Twinsburg High School principal, will be interviewed for Ravenna School District's superintendent vacancy in the weeks ahead.
The district's board of education is looking for a successor to Dennis Honkala, superintendent of the district for the past 10 years. Honkala plans to retire at the end of the school year.
Who's on the list for Ravenna's next suprintendent?
Craig McKendry, treasurer of the school district, said the board recently narrowed the list to seven people. They include Lee Smith, principal of West Main Elementary School in Ravenna, and Vincent Suber, principal of Streetsboro Middle School.
The other candidates are Dr. Laura Hebert, principal of Twinsburg High School; Craig Hockenberry, former superintendent and current consultant of the Three Rivers Local School District in Cleves, Ohio; Jude Meyers, superintendent of Gallia County Local Schools; Kristine Michael, assistant superintendent of Northridge Local Schools in Johnstown; and Dr. Eugene Thomas, superintendent of Lowellville Local School District in Mahoning County.
When will Ravenna hire its new superintendent?
The board has executive sessions set up April 13 and 14 to consider the employment of a public employee.
McKendry said finalists for the position will be interviewed on April 22, and a formal recommendation for the position may be made on April 26.
Background on Dennis Honkala
Hired in 2011 from Buckeye Local Schools, Honkala has worked in education for 33 years. Before becoming a superintendent and high school administrator, he served as a high school teacher.
"I am proud of what we have accomplished in Ravenna over the past decade," Honkala said. "We have strong central office and building leadership throughout the district excellent athletic facilities and strong community support. That makes it the perfect time to hand this role to a new leader — and any leader would be fortunate to work for this school board and serve this community."
He said his "most satisfying accomplishments" include building community relationships that persuaded businesses to donate $800,000 for the stadium renovation in 2013; the Momentum Award from the state of Ohio for academic accomplishments in 2016; the recent reorganization of the district, and leading the district through the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, he worked to create, implement and facilitate the Ravenna Schools Equity and Inclusion Task Force.
"I am excited to relax for a short while, but I still have energy left and I believe that my calling will always be in some type of public service," he said. "Being an old government teacher, I have always wanted to serve in local government. I may have an opportunity to do just that in the upcoming year."
Honkala lives in New Franklin in Summit County. His predecessor, Tim Calfee, serves on Ravenna City Council.