School & District Management

Cincinnati Appoints New Chief From Houston Area

By Ann Bradley — September 18, 2002 1 min read

The Cincinnati school board has chosen an administrator from the Houston area as the district’s next superintendent.

Alton L. Frailey was selected unanimously by the seven-member board on Sept. 6, the day after he and four other candidates were interviewed. None of the names was made public before the board announced its choice.

Mr. Frailey, 41, is an assistant superintendent of the 32,000-student Spring Branch school district in suburban Houston and serves on the school board of the nearby 68,000-student Cypress-Fairbanks district.

He will replace Steven Adamowski, who retired last month as the superintendent of the 42,000-student southwestern Ohio district. Mr. Frailey is expected to be paid a salary comparable to the former superintendent’s $181,000 annual earnings.

“We were extremely happy with the quality of our candidates,” said Rick Williams, the president of the Cincinnati school board. He noted that the panel’s goal was a quick and efficient search that would not backfire on potential applicants by exposing their job search.

Sue Taylor, the president of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, criticized the hunt for a new schools chief as “a closed process” because the names of candidates were not released. But she said that would not tarnish her excitement at working with Mr. Frailey, whom, she said, had been described to her by his associates as “quite inspirational, a motivator, a dedicated leader, and very personable in his relationships.”

Jan Lesley, a district spokeswoman, said the board formulated a profile of its ideal candidate, based on extensive public input, to use in recruiting candidates. “There is a trust factor of the board, whose legal responsibility is to hire the superintendent,” she said. “If the public doesn’t like their choice, they can vote them out of office.”

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