Garrettsville – June 13, 2013 marked the beginning of a new era for James A. Garfield Schools. After 22 years under the leadership of Charles Klamer, the JAG Board of Education hired a new superintendent: Ted Lysiak of Garrettsville. 

Pictured are  Ted Lysiak and Chuck Klamer.
Pictured are Ted Lysiak and Chuck Klamer.

Lysiak was formerly Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Euclid Schools since 2011. A member of JAG PTO, he is also commissioner of Garrettsville’s youth football program, and a coach for youth baseball and basketball leagues. He and his wife, Maria, live in the Nelson area with their two sons, Collin (9) and Austin (10), who attend JAG Elementary and Intermediate schools. (Maria is a special needs teacher at Chardon Middle School.)

Lysiak was selected from an initial pool of 36 candidates provided by the recruitment firm Finding Leaders, according to JAG Board of Education President Guy Pietra. The Board interviewed six of those candidates, then narrowed the pool down to two finalists. Lysiak and the other finalist were then interviewed by a panel of 32 individuals representing educators, students, staff, administrators and community members. A couple more Board interviews and reference checks later, Lysiak rose to the top.

“I believe he’ll bring the community involvement, consistency and continuity we’ve enjoyed the past two decades years with Chuck, plus the added assets of technology and curriculum development,”said Pietra. “Ted has a keen ability to pull people together and collaborate to get good things accomplished. His focus is on the students and the community. And we hit the jackpot because he’s one of ours.”

Lysiak starts his new post in July, working two days per week; then full time as of August 1. He says his top objectives are (1) to push for renewal of levy monies to sustain operating budget funding, on the ballot in November; (2) to secure grant funding to improve technology infrastructure and tools for students in anticipation of the replacement of the Ohio Graduation Test with computer-based graduation testing in 2014; and (3) to expand JA Garfield’s “culture of excellence.”

By that, Lysiak is referring to ”those little things people do above and beyond the call of duty which aren’t measured by state report cards, but make all the difference in our school system — whether it be the bus driver who introduces himself to all the incoming kindergarteners on his route, or the lunch lady who notices that Johnny forgot his lunch money, but makes sure he gets something to eat. Too often, these stories just aren’t told. We need to continue to tell such stories and keep our eyes open to such things.”

Lysiak grew up in the Portage Lakes area and attended Coventry High School. He earned his BS in education from Kent State University, and became a fourth grade teacher in Stow for five years, while earning his Master of Arts in education from the University of Akron. After becoming the Director of Instructional Technology, Professional Development and Communications for Euclid Schools, he received his Administrative License in curriculum and instruction from the University of Akron. Lysiak is poised to earn his Superintendent License from Ashland University this August.

He currently serves as chairman of the WVIZ IdeaStream Advisory Council, which provides regional educational technology programming. He also is an executive board member of Learning Forward Ohio, responsible for coordinating statewide professional learning opportunities for teachers and administrators to support student achievement.

Upon receiving his new position as Garfield  Superintendent, Lysiak said, “I want to express my appreciation and respect for Mr. Klamer, and my congratulations on his retirement. We wouldn’t be where we are today without his excellent leadership.”