Poland schools superintendent retiring while colleagues praise his work

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David Janofa said his last day of work will be February 1, 2021

POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The superintendent of Poland schools is retiring.

In a letter dated September 21, 2020, David Janofa said his last day of work will be February 1, 2021.

After eight years of service, Janofa did not list a reason for leaving the position in his letter to the board, only to say that he is retiring.

“I have felt honored and blessed to be the leader of our tremendous district. I would like to thank the Board of Education that gave me the opportunity to work with the Poland community, parents, students and staff,” Janofa wrote.

Janofa’s letter was accepted by the Poland Board of Education in a 4-1 vote Monday night but not before a lengthy debate.

Some members of the community accused the board of forcing Janofa out.

“I am sad for the community, right now. Three board members ran last fall on a platform to get rid of Superintendent Janofa,” said Dr. Mara Banfield, Poland board member. “What you are losing in an authentic, hard-working, passionate, caring leader of this team, and some members of this board are allowing ego to get in the way to what is right. Admit you are wrong. It’s OK.”

No one at the meeting spoke negatively about Janofa. Elementary Principal Mike Masucci spoke for the administration and staff.

“I can’t get one staff member to say anything negative about him other than he is genuine, other than he is truthful, other than he is honest,” Masucci said. “The individual who possesses the skills needed to not only lead but represent Poland schools is sitting right there, and his name is David Janofa.”

Board member Larry Dinopoulos read off a list of accomplishments under Janofa’s tenure such as resizing the district and eliminating a projected deficit.

“Finally, the incredible job you did through the pandemic. It had every superintendent in the tri-county area calling you for advice. You were a true leader,” Dinapoulos said.

Board member Larry Warren denied campaigning for the removal of Janofa.

Other board members thanked Janofa for his accomplishments.

In the end, four board members voted to accept Janofa’s letter of retirement. Only one, Larry Dinopoulos voted not.

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