Cleveland Mayor Appoints Interim Schools Chief

Cleveland Mayor Appoints Interim Schools Chief

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Cleveland’s mayor has found a candidate to step into the role of leading the city schools at an important time of transition for the district.

Mayor Frank Jackson recently appointed Peter E. Raskind, 54, as the interim CEO of the Cleveland Municipal School District.  Raskind will replace Dr. Eugene Sanders who announced in December that he would step down in early 2011.  Raskind will begin his role as leader of the nearly 56,000 student school district on February 1 when Sanders leaves.

Raskind comes to the school district with experience from the Cleveland Cuyahoga County Port Authority where he served as Interim Chief Executive Officer.  He was also Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the former National City Corporation.  He is well known in the Cleveland business community, as National City was a popular regional bank before it was acquired by Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank.  Raskind spent his career in banking.

At a local news conference, Raskind reminded reporters why it was important for him to take the interim role.

“Nothing is more crucial to the future of our community than the education of our children. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the talented and committed CMSD faculty and staff while the search is conducted for a permanent CEO,” said Raskind.

As Mayor Jackson spoke of Raskind’s appointment, he reminded people of why the schools need continual leadership until a permanent replacement is found.

“The education of our children is the most important issue we face as a community. CMSD is at a very critical point in its history and needs solid leadership to help move the District forward,” the mayor commented.

The appointment of Raskind is important during this time of transition for the Cleveland schools. Sanders launched an academic “transformation plan” for the district in June 2010.  The district is also facing a $58 million shortfall for the 2011-2012 school year.  School closings and consolidations have also changed the demographics of the district.

Raskind will serve the district for an annual salary of $1.  According to WKYC-TV in Cleveland, he made the same amount when he worked at the Port Authority.

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