In a special meeting Tuesday, the Wadsworth Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Dale Fortner effective June 30.
Fortner, Superintendent for 12 years, said he sees it as "another career move," but acknowledged he is still going to continue to work and nothing has been finalized in or outside the field of education.
Board President Charles Pfeister said, “we are going to lose one of the best superintendents in the area" and "it is going to be tough to fill his shoes."
Pfeister said "he has done an excellent job" as exemplified by the 10 years of excellence the school system has obtained. "I am extremely proud to have him as our superintendent," Pfeister explained.
Fortner acknowledged he and the board had been talking about this for some time and Pfeister indicated, "I knew it was coming."
According to Fortner in a press release, "it was a good time to transition to new leadership" since the system is financially stable, the contract with the teachers has been settled and the construction project is complete.
That construction project included the opening of a new high school and three new elementary buildings in September, which Fortner described as the first of its kind in Ohio since the project also included a new community center, which has a fitness center, a senior citizens wing, Summa Health radiology and therapy section, a space for the Wadsworth Library and a new home for Wadsworth Community Television. That collaborative project now serves as a model for other communities.
Fortner began his career in education as an English teacher at St. Edwards High School in 1982. Then moved to Nordonia High School to teach English and from there to the College of Wooster as assistant director of admissions.
Fortner then became a teacher of English at Firestone High School and then athletic director at Firestone. He then moved to Revere High School as assistant principal and then to Revere Middle School as assistant principal.
From Revere, Fortner became associate principal at Wadsworth High School and then became the principal of Wadsworth High School, from which position he became the superintendent in 2001.
During his superintendency, according to information supplied by Fortner, the system had 10 consecutive years of the highest rating, voters adopted six of eight ballot issues and 10 labor contracts were successfully negotiated.
As superintendent, Fortner was awarded Business Leader of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce; Excellence in Educational Leadership in Medina County by Leadership Medina County; Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce; Vision Award by the Chamber of Commerce; and elected to the Senior Advocate Hall of Fame by the Wadsworth Older Adults Foundation.
Fortner received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the College of Wooster, a Master of Arts in Secondary Administration from the University of Akron and a Doctorate in Education in Administrative Leadership in Teaching and Learning from Walden University.