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Armocida takes interim job

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On Wednesday, July 29, the Yellow Springs Board of Education approved former longtime Yellow Springs superintendent Tony Armocida as the district’s interim superintendent for one year.

The action took place at a specially called meeting following an executive session, after former Superintendent Norm Glismann submitted his resignation on Tuesday, July 28, effective July 31. Glismann began a new job as superintendent with Graham Local Schools in St. Paris on Monday, Aug. 3.

The board was very pleased that Armocida, who served in Yellow Springs for 10 years before retiring in summer 2007, took the job, according to Board President Aïda Merhemic last week.

“We appreciate that Tony is willing to come out of what he calls his ‘happy retirement’ to help us out,” she said.

According to board member Richard Lapedes last week, it’s “astonishing good fortune to have Tony available while we do a methodical and complete search. This gives us time to do it right.”

Armocida “knows the community and the people, he knows us and we know him,” Lapedes said. “There’s no better choice.”

While the board knew that Glismann had been searching for a job the past several months, they were surprised that he found one starting so late in the year, Merhemic said shortly after Glismann resigned. State law prohibits boards from searching for a replacement until a superintendent submits a resignation.

In an interview last week, Armocida emphasized the need for the schools to have a sitting superintendent. While a previous commitment means he will be out of town this week, he will be ready for action on Monday, Aug. 10, he said.

“You want to hit the ground running,” he said. “All those little kids are out there in the stores buying their new clothes for school, and the superintendent had better be ready.”

Armocida retired from the Yellow Springs schools after 10 years in the job, following a period as principal of Tippecanoe High School and a long career in education. Since his retirement, he and his wife moved to Bellbrook, and have enjoyed traveling. He also volunteered regularly as a maintenance man at the St. Vincent de Paul Center in Dayton, a Catholic organization that provides shelter for homeless people.

“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” Armocida said, describing his volunteer work as fixing whatever needs to be fixed in the rooms of the disadvantaged people who live at the center. “I was retired from my job, but not retired from life.”

When he gets back to Yellow Springs, Armocida said his first priority will be re-connecting with teachers, administrators, staff and community members. He’s looking forward to doing so, he said.

“People who know me know I genuinely enjoyed my time here,” he said.

During his tenure, Armocida took pride in the local schools being named National Schools of Excellence, he said. He also feels proud of the staff and faculty, who he described as “dedicated teachers who connect with kids.” The school district also enjoyed stable financing during his tenure, which Armocida believes gave it a stable foundation to face its current financial challenges.

When he was superintendent, Armocida’s “best day of the year” was graduation day, he said, when high school students marched across the stage to pick up their diplomas, “the culmination of all those years of work.”

Armocida took pride in what he saw as the uniqueness of Yellow Springs students, he said. He believes that local young people benefitted from having opportunities to engage in out-of-the-box thinking, pursue topics in depth, and handle responsibilities that they may not have had in other schools.

“I think our kids were a little more sophisticated than most,” he said.

While he finds “daunting” the concept of getting up early for work each morning for the next year, Armocida said he is eager to get back to work.

“I get to work with some great people,” he said of his one-year interim contract. “And then I can retire again.”


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