Tallmadge Board of Education hires director of student services

Employee to replace administrator who retired last month

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published:

Tallmadge -- Less than a month after JoAnn Chirakos retired as the Tallmadge City School District's director of student services, the Board of Education found a replacement.

Canfield resident Karen Kanotz will join the district in that role as of Aug. 1. She will earn an annual salary of $93,223.

Chirakos retired June 30 after seven years in the job. She made $91,682 per year.

The director of student services oversees student enrollment and supervises staff who offer services to students, such as special education teachers, school nurses, speech therapists and school psychologists.

Superintendent Jeff Ferguson said the school district administration considered 16 applicants for the job and determined Kanotz was well-qualified, and her "student-centered philosophy lined up with that of the district."

"We were very excited during the interview process to get Karen, who has experience in everything from national-level presentations to state-level presentations, staff development in the classroom with teachers and a knowledge of special education and some of those other [services she'll oversee] ... ," he said, referring to her experience as a special education contact for the Ohio Department of Education [ODE].

Kanotz, 50, comes to Tallmadge Schools after working for seven years for the ODE, helping public school districts in Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull and Ashtabula counties implement new special education initiatives and guidelines.

Before that she worked as a coordinator for special services for the Struthers City School district in suburban Youngstown and as a regular and special education teacher for Springfield Local Schools in Mahoning County. Her duties as coordinator for special services were similar to the ones she'll have in Tallmadge.

She has both a bachelor's and master's degrees in special education from Youngstown State University.

Kanotz said she was interested in applying for the position in Tallmadge because it will bring her closer to the children and families with whom she enjoys working. But first, she said wants to get to know her new colleagues in the school district's administration and staff, as well as students and their parents.

"My first goals are to learn as much as I can about Tallmadge and the areas I can continue to benefit it and help it move forward," she said.

Email: hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9428

Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.

Twitter: @SchoensteinH

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