State board unanimously OKs new Ohio schools superintendent

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A former adviser to Republican and Democratic governors has been named Ohio’s new state superintendent in a striking unanimous vote by the state board of education.

The 19-0 vote Wednesday for Paolo DeMaria (POW’-loh dee-muh-REE’-uh) was characterized as the start of a new era of cooperation for the often fractious board. After the vote, the board welcomed DeMaria with a standing ovation.

DeMaria becomes the permanent replacement for former superintendent Richard Ross, who retired Dec. 31. Ross’ final year was marked by increasing tensions with the board, as disagreements flared over a scandal in the state’s charter-school oversight office and a takeover of the Youngstown schools.

Two board members said they prayed Wednesday’s vote would be unanimous. Several also credited Chairman Tom Gunlock for making the selection process inclusive.

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