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The Suburbanite
  • Allison’s job comes with many challenges

  • The issue: New Canton City superintendent

    Our view: But many advances, too; we wish him and his board every success

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  • The issue: New Canton City superintendent
    Our view: But many advances, too; we wish him and his board every success
    There’s never an easy time to lead a school district, but it’s a particularly challenging job in Ohio right now. Even so, Adrian Allison this week made a five-year commitment to lead the Canton City School District as its superintendent.
    Allison has a unique background, having worked for the Ohio Department of Education in the areas of urban education policy, licensure and professional conduct and the federal Race to the Top funding program. In the Canton City district, he has been interim superintendent, assistant superintendent for the late Superintendent Chris Smith and director of school improvement and diversity. He also is an attorney and has been serving as the district’s legal counsel.
    Allison and his family also have personal connections to the city and district that go back decades. As The Rep noted Tuesday, his grandfather, John T. Allison Sr., was the school district’s first black employee. His father, Bruce, retired from the Canton Police Department after becoming the first black officer to be promoted to captain. Adrian Allison graduated from McKinley High School, and his elevation to superintendent Monday makes him the district’s first black male chief executive .
    As for the issues that Allison and his board will be dealing with, they include a tight budget grown tighter by declining property values and the loss of more than $7 million a year in funding that follows students to charter schools. And they include the uncertain future for state funding of schools, with Gov. John Kasich due to unveil his funding proposal later this month.
    On the plus side, Allison will direct a district in which test scores and graduation rates have steadily increased, and a district where innovation has taken root in an arts academy, digital academy, early college high school, early college middle school and, soon, a middle school devoted to science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
    We’re looking forward to seeing where Allison’s professional and personal credentials take him and the district, and we wish him and the Board of Education every success.