On his last day with the Ohio Department of Education an associate state superintendent urged Mansfield City Schools staff on Friday to adopt a sense of urgency about improving the district’s academic performance.

Lonny Rivera, who served as interim state superintendent of public instruction earlier this year, was the keynote speaker to open daylong professional development sessions for teachers, administrators and support staff. Rivera emphasized the importance of improvement to avoid a state takeover of the district academic program, such as what has occurred in the Youngstown City Schools.    “If things don’t improve within the next two years, the same thing could happen here,” he said. “Teamwork can achieve improvement. It’s the folks in this room that will make it happen.”

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