Michigan superintendent accepts Youngstown Schools CEO job - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Michigan superintendent accepts Youngstown Schools CEO job

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Justin Jennings Justin Jennings
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

By August 1st, a new CEO will be in charge of the Youngstown City Schools. 

Justin Jennings, the superintendent of the Muskegon School District in Muskegon, Michigan beat out nearly 140 other applicants.

He will take over for current CEO Krish Mohip when he leaves at the end of his contract this summer.

Jennings said he's ready to work with community stakeholders to give Youngstown schools a passing grade. 

Telling 21 News by telephone that he's elated and excited, Jennings also said, "This is a great opportunity."

Jennings is expected to be paid between $170,000 and $190,000, and he'll likely sign a three-year contract.

"I did accept the position, and now we're doing some negotiations, and we'll go from here," Jennings said.

Describing himself as an education "turn around leader" Jennings said making a move to Youngstown feels like a natural fit.

"I've been in basically what you would consider distressed school districts, and we come in and build leadership, we make sure our curriculum is aligned, and our teachers are properly trained, and we move forward from there," Jennings said.

He's moving from an urban district similar to our city schools where he's improved the graduation rate in a year and a half.  But he said it takes work and patience.

Jennings also said he's an untraditional leader who will roll up his sleeves and show up in the classrooms, and be transparent to the community.

"It's important for people to remember this is their school district.  And I've said this before; I won't stop saying it, my job is to work myself out of a job to make sure the Youngstown City School District goes back to local control," Jennings said.

So how will the Michigan school superintendent work with a school board that has been described as difficult?  Two of them, in this case, were on the committee that hired him.

"They have to have a stake, and they have to have information because they're going to be the mouthpiece most of the time of what's going out to the community," Jennings tells 21 News.

A community town hall to meet and greet Jennings is expected to be held in the next few weeks.
 

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