HUDSON, Ohio (WJW) – Hudson City Schools Superintendent Phil Herman announced that he’s stepping down from his position on February 18.
Herman has worked for the district for 16 years. He was appointed superintendent of the district in 2013.
“Phil has had an enormous impact on our district,” said Hudson City School Board of Education President Dave Zuro. “He has been an invaluable partner to me and my fellow board members as we worked together to make Hudson Schools one of the truly outstanding districts in the state of Ohio.”
He accepted a position as a principal of the Impact Group, a Hudson-based communications firm that specializes in helping people with developmental disabilities.
“While I’m excited for this new challenge, the decision to leave Hudson City Schools has been one of the most difficult of my life,” Herman said. “It has been the greatest honor and source of pride in my career to serve as the superintendent of this amazing school district. There are no words to express the amount of gratitude I have for the board of education, the administrative team, teachers, support staff, students, parents and the community.”
The school district has been under fire in recent months over a controversial writing assignment for students.
FOX 8 reported extensively on a book called “642 things to Write About,” which was given to students who were taking a college-level course through Hiram College.
The book had been part of the writing curriculum for 6 years and required a parental waiver, but was only recently flagged by a parent in September who was concerned about some of the writing prompts.
After concerns about the book came to light, Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert spoke to the school board.
According to the Summit County prosecutor’s office, on September 13, Mr. Schubert said, “It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing what is essentially child porn in the classroom… you either choose to resign or you will be charged.”
Following the meeting, two school board members had 150 calls and email threats that rose to the level of reporting it to police and board members fearing for their safety, the prosecutor said.
Summit County investigators found that the book is not child porn or graphic. A report said even the parents who complained had signed the waiver and did not make effort to remove their children from the class.
During a Dec. 13 meeting, the board will consider a resolution to appoint Steve Farnsworth as interim superintendent. He retired as superintendent in the district in 2013.
The board will start searching for the next superintendent in the coming days.