Elizabeth Lolli announces retiring- doesn’t even make the paper. Neither does her retroactive pay raise.

A letter from the Dayton City School District Superintendent:

January 10, 2023

To the Board of Education, DPS Staff, and the Dayton Community,

As I finish the final year of my contract, which ends on July 31, 2023, I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on my six years as Superintendent of Dayton City Schools.

I want to thank the board, staff, students, families, and community for helping DPS to finally raise its state rating above an F before the COVID-19 disruptions and again, after the pandemic in 2021-22. We have made key steps for systematic change and lasting progress. As I have said before, the Ohio Superintendent of the Year honor, just bestowed on me, recognizes not only my previous administrative work but also the road DPS is taking to quality. It’s a team award.

Together, with the support of the board and community, we have done important things for our DPS children, all of which help lead to better performance. It begins with teachers. Recent years have been hard, yet DPS teachers have stepped up. As a former professor, I’m proud we developed strong professional development that our educators embrace and use to improve student achievement daily.

Our educators have become innovators to face the challenges ahead: starting our new International School for ESL students; nearly doubling Career and Technical Education options; shaping River’s Edge School as a genuine Montessori School; initiating the Double Teaching model to help students catch up; and increasing the number of DPS College Credit Plus students by fifty percent.

With student health and mental health pressures increasing, DPS opened our first school-based health clinic with Five Rivers Health Center, created resiliency coordinators and added mental health counselors with Dayton Children’s, put nurses in every school, and deployed more counselors to every middle school. These are vital supports, proven effective in cities across the country, and working here.

As a former music teacher, I’ve been excited to see quality music education increase in every building and to field the All-City Marching Band at football games. And speaking of sports, we have completed a reorganization of the athletic department, added new sports programs and intramural options, improved athletic fields, and high school weight rooms.

All this requires the best use of local and state funds, and the appropriate allocation of pandemic assistance from the federal government and other outside sources. I am proud to say we have worked within budget and the financial state of our schools is strong because DPS is fiscally accountable.

As a result of all this, DPS is gaining statewide respect. With several superintendents, I was asked to help the Ohio Department of Education and Governor with state budgeting, COVID-19 recovery plans, and to provide advice on other educational matters. This work, as a representative of our students, educators, and community, is vital for students, and reflects well on our Dayton image. We now have a voice at Ohio’s education table.

When I came here, the mandate was to get DPS back on the right track. It is. Together, we have built a strong foundation for progress, and for new leadership to continue the DPS turnaround. The community owes our educators and partners in progress a debt of gratitude, and they certainly have mine. The DPS Board of Education now has sufficient time to choose our next leader.

It has been an honor of my career to serve this community’s children and staff. The work and relationships will always be dear to my heart, I wish everyone well, and will forever be a Daytonian.

Sincerely,

Dr. Elizabeth Lolli

Superintendent of Schools

Why she got hired in the first place as superintendent will forever remain a mystery. Hired by her disgraced train wreck of a predecessor, Rhonda Corr, she managed to get put in charge without any in depth background investigation (the same is true for Corr). Grasping at straws, the board elevated her so as to put someone in charge quickly and move on.

Lolli has been a mistake from day one. You can read a bunch of posts on this site that fully describe the folly of Lolli. She’s cost the district tens of millions due to her incompetence, from insane legal bills, to multiple mistakes on HR, high turnover (if you don’t understand the costs of turnover in any organization, you are probably a DPS school board member), and enrollment drops, performance drops, and last but not least- failures in transportation. While the board seems to think her “team teaching” approach for grades 1-3 is “revolutionary” and somehow a great success, it’s pretty well known that decreasing class size improves results, and this is basically the same thing. About the only good thing she’s done is reinstate music programs in all schools (she’s a former music teacher). Other than that, this district would have been light years ahead had the toxic board with Adil Baguirov not passed over David Lawrence as an internal candidate.

This board is just as toxic. The performances at their epic long meetings should be monitored by prosecutors, auditors and ethics investigators as they just can’t seem to help themselves from self-indictment. In the reorg meeting on the 10th, it starts out with a discussion of why Jocelyn Rhynard wasn’t included in their normal round-robin calls to discuss board business/appointments reorganization. Then we have Rhynard again bringing up her sexual harassment complaint against Will Smith- who then says that the board has already wasted a ton of money on legal fees to investigate her claims.

This is almost as embarrassing as the meeting where I decided I was done trying to report on them regularly- the one where a DPS administrator was making a presentation about a $400K contract, showing slides that still had boilerplate text on them like “Your perfect title slide” and “Lorem Ipsum” and the board let her drone on- then voted to award the 3 year contract (which Lolli cancelled after 2 years). Had any of the board had an IQ bigger than their shoe size, someone would have stopped her, and said “It appears you aren’t prepared to present today, please come back when you are ready” and ended it.

The Dayton Daily newsless hasn’t reported this story- the next question is will the board hire some consulting firm for $30K to do a nationwide search to find candidates willing to come and takeover their shrunken, broken, failing district- or will they do the right thing and promote from within? The obvious choice is Lawrence again, but, obvious isn’t something this board understands.

At the end of the last 4 hour plus meeting, (8:50 pm) after everyone had gone home except the poor video people, they came out of executive session and gave Lolli a going away gift of a retroactive to August of last year 5% raise. This wasn’t on the agenda before the meeting- so they failed to give proper notice. Considering Lolli’s already double dipping, and making more money than she ever made on her first retirement, this just adds more insult to the injury already inflicted on the taxpayers by this incompetent superintendent. The fact that the public wasn’t made aware of this, not afforded the right to have public input, is criminal. That it’s retroactive to August anyway- this should have been brought up at the next business meeting. Dr. Pickett wasn’t there, and kudos to Joe Lacey who voted no (probably out of guilt for not hiring Lawrence 5 years ago).

The reality is, these people have zero respect for the public they represent, and should be removed from office.

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