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Chesapeake schools must find unity

Now is time for the Chesapeake Board of Education and the citizens who pay taxes to the school district to come together on a clear vision for the future of the district and identify a solid plan to get there.

The students deserve no less and the apparent dysfunction within the district could — if it hasn’t already — negatively impact the quality of education.

Superintendent Scott Howard tendered his resignation last week, walking away from more than three years of a lucrative contract that paid him more than $100,000 a year and included significant perks. In his brief resignation letter Howard didn’t offer a any reason why he was leaving or say that he had another job elsewhere.

Although Howard may have rubbed some people the wrong way, the educator can point to a number of successes he helped lead the district to including the schools earning excellent rankings by the Ohio Department of Education, implementing an after-school program and overhauling the curriculum in recent years. It was just two years ago he was given a five-year extension.

The fact someone who had publicly expressed his love for the job and the district would walk away from a deal like this, coupled with two board members resigning in the past two months and that there appeared to be a clear division on the board based on recent voting records, makes it is obvious that something was amiss.

No one may ever know exactly what went wrong within the district and where the visions for a quality public education system diverged, but clearly this is what occurred.

Who was right and who was wrong? Only time and close analysis of student success will provide the answer to this.

Hopefully, the board will take its time to find the most qualified candidate for superintendent rather than fulfilling personal agendas or allowing politics to muddy the waters.

Not saying that is going to happen in this case, but it wouldn’t be the first time for a Lawrence County school board.

Everything that has occurred is now a moot point. Chesapeake cannot worry about its past successes or failures. The education of the district’s students — today and for years to come — is the only thing that truly matters.