CANTON — The Canton City school board publicly welcomed new Superintendent Jeffrey Graham to the district Monday.

“His appointment really marks the beginning of a new era in the Canton City School District,” said board Vice President Eric Resnick who touted Graham’s credentials. ”... It is a signal to this community that academic performance is now the focus in the Canton City School District and things are moving forward.”

The board, which approved Graham’s hiring in April, on Monday approved a two-month contract for Graham, who has spent 19 years in leadership positions over his 26-year career in education. He most recently served as regional superintendent of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. A separate contract to cover Graham’s employment for the upcoming school year will be approved later this summer, Resnick said.

According to the two-month bridge contract, Graham’s pay will be based on an annual salary of $179,900 and a 260-day work year. He will receive 10 vacation days and up to $2,500 for moving expenses. Former Superintendent Adrian E. Allison received a base salary of $152,000.

In his first public remarks to the board as superintendent, Graham said he has spent his first six days on the job meeting many new people and he plans to continue doing so.

“I will spend a lot of time listening,” said Graham, whose wife, Erin, and three youngest children attended the meeting. “We, as an administrative team, will collectively get together and engage, listen and learn.”

He also thanked his predecessor, Barbara Maceyak, for serving as interim superintendent since January.

Graham noted that Maceyak, who is returning to her role as the district’s human resource director, made many tough decisions in her five months at the helm, including the elimination of 26 teaching and 10 administrative positions. The $6.4 million in cuts came in response to a five-year forecast that projects the district will spend $5 million more than it collects next school year and will face a deficit by 2022 unless cuts are made.

Graham said he endorsed her decisions.

“I was in those meetings, and we talked on the phone a lot,” Graham said. “I own every decision she made because I agree with the philosophy with which she made it and I trust her.”

 

Reach Kelli at 330-580-8339 or kelli.weir@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @kweirREP