Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 12, 2014

Clark takes reins at Centralia

MT. VERNON — A Jefferson County school administrator has accepted a job in Marion County.

Craig Clark, who has been the superintendent of the Dodds Grade School District for the past seven years, has been hired as superintendent of the Centralia City Grade School District.

Clark will begin his new duties on Aug. 1. He replaces David Rademacher, who resigned June 30 to become superintendent of the Meridian School District in Mounds. Retiring superintendent Tom Hawkins had been serving as interim superintendent while the board searched for Rademacher’s replacement.

Clark has been an educator for approximately 20 years, working at several area schools including as a teacher at Summersville and as principal at Raccoon School.

“We have a few things going on (at Dodds) so it was going to be a tough decision,” Clark said Friday. “I just decided to apply and see what happened. I wasn’t actually seeking to go anywhere, especially with the consolidation going on at Dodds. However, this looked like a good opportunity for me professionally and for my family.”

Clark’s wife, Monte Jo Clark, is superintendent of the Ina Grade School District.

Clark said he will commute to Centralia from his rural Mt. Vernon home at least for the first year in his new position.

He will be responsible for five buildings, about 200 employees and 1,300 pupils in Centralia.

Rodney Martin, president of the Board of Education at Dodds, said the district will be advertising for Clark’s position.

“Obviously, anybody hates to lose a good employee. An opportunity developed for him (Clark) to further his career so you can’t hold that against him,” Martin said. “We’re going to have a transitional period where Craig will work with the board and all the information we’ve gathered for the consolidation will be passed on to his successor. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’ve got a plan in progress to make it a painless process.”

Dodds and Ina grade school districts will petition voters in November to consolidate the two districts.

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