Kreger is used to working in a school environment with ethnicity. Dearborn has a large percentage of Arabic-speaking students. In addition, it is adjacent to the largest concentration of Latinos in Michigan —southwest Detroit .
Statistically, Dearborn has large populations of Arabic, Spanish, and Romanian-speaking students and families. According to Dr. Kreger, Dearborn has 46 nationalities within its borders.
“I love the rich diversity our district encompasses and realize that the school system in Elyria offers this same richness. I look forward to such a challenge if I am ultimately chosen as its superintendent.
“I understand the needs of a diverse population, after having taught for 18 years in all sections of Dearborn , being principal for 7 years, and heading the Dearborn Bilingual Program for 9 years. My current assignment oversees this program.
“ Elyria is a wonderful city with a supportive school board and parents. I like that,” said Dr. Kreger. “I also have friends and relatives in the area. I also like that Elyria is near major urban populations.”
This background should aid Kreger if she is selected for the position in that Lorain County has a large Latino population. While the Elyria school district is approximately 50 percent the size of the 18,000-plus in Dearborn , the richness in diversity is comparable.
Dr. Kreger is supportive of the reasons behind and goals of the nascent No Child Left Behind Act but believes that the sanctions should be reviewed.
“Sometimes the sanctions don’t make sense,” said Kreger.
The other Elyria superintendent finalists are:
Mark O. North, who has been the assistant superintendent of Groveport Madison Local Schools in Groveport , Ohio since 2002. North previously served as the Superintendent of Southwest Licking Local Schools in Etna , Ohio for four years and superintendent of Frontier Local Schools in New Matamoras, Ohio for two years. North has over 17 years of experience in education. He has a Master’s Degree in Education from Ashland University .
Dr. Paul J. Madak, who was the Superintendent of Lakewood Public Schools from 1995-2004. Dr. Madak was also the superintendent of Kettering Public School for four years and the superintendent of Olmsted Falls City Schools for five years. Madak received a Doctorate of Education from Kent State University . He has over 38 years of experience in education.
The district received a total of 23 applicants from Ohio and 10 candidates from out of state, including Michigan , Georgia , Indiana , Kentucky , Missouri , and Maine .
“We are pleased with the quality of applicants and the high-interest in the position of superintendent,” said Holly Brinda, president of the Elyria School Board. “The three finalists are outstanding and appear to have the necessary leadership to move the district forward.”
Board members will conduct site visits in Groveport , OH , Dearborn , MI , and Lakewood , OH in an effort to become better acquainted with the finalists and their professional experience.
Dr. Kreger expects her visit to come at the end of February or early March.
In the near future, the community will have an opportunity to meet the three superintendent finalists and give feedback on who they feel is the best candidate for the Elyria School District .
“We are anxious to provide an opportunity for the community to have interaction with the finalists,” said Brinda.
The school board also voted on an extended contract for Interim Superintendent Dr. Roger Lulow at its board meeting on Tuesday, which would run through June 30, 2005 .