MEDINA – Robert Hlasko has been hired as assistant superintendent of the Medina County Educational Services Center.
Hlasko began his new job Aug. 1 as part of a transition plan instituted by the ESC governing board to replace Superintendent Will Koran, who has announced plans to retire July 31 of next year.
The 69-year-old Koran has been an educator for 48 years including the last 19 as superintendent of the ESC in Medina. He also was assistant superintendent there for nine years and worked as a principal and director of pupil services in the Highland Local School District for 14 years before that.
Hlasko had been superintendent of the Cory-Rawson Local Schools in western Ohio for eight years before becoming the assistant superintendent at the ESC. He will spend the next year working closely with Koran with the goal of learning the intricacies of the new job.
“Working at an educational services center is a lot different than working for a school district,” Koran said. “(Hlasko) Working here for a year before taking over should allow for a seamless transition when I retire.”
The scope of activities at the Medina County Educational Services Center is not well understood by most people. In addition, it is constantly changing.
Koran said he has 145 employees working at the ESC, most of them assigned to schools around the county where they provide support in roles such as nurses, tutors, mental health specialists, special education teachers and directors of special programs for gifted and talented students.
The ESC offers a smorgasbord of services from which school districts around the county can select. Koran said that can change from year to year as a district’s enrollment changes and the preferences of a superintendent in a local district switch from contracting with the ESC for staff to hiring their own personnel to fill their needs.
The ESC also offers services which extend outside the county. The center acts as a substitute teacher coordinator for 40 school districts and provides behavioral support specialists for students with autism in five counties. It also offers an award-winning training program for bus drivers and operates a fleet of vans to transport students with special needs.
Hlasko brings to the job experience as a school administrator and knowledge of the county since he is a graduate of Cloverleaf High School. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in history from Ohio Northern University, a master of arts in history from the University of Akron and a doctor of education degree from the University of Findlay.
Hlasko and his wife Sarah were both raised in Medina County and now live in Litchfield with their three children. He said the chance to move back to this area was a big factor in his decision to take the new job.
“This is a great place to live and we wanted to move back to Medina County for the opportunities it presents to our family,” Hlasko said. “In addition to that, this job offers some exciting challenges and the opportunity to work with some extremely talented and passionate people. I’ve only been here a short time, but the experience has already been rejuvenating.”
He was selected from 30 applicants for the position and will earn $115,000 a year.