Youngstown City Schools Names Jennings CEO

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown City School District Academic Distress Commission named Justin Jennings the new CEO after a 5-0 vote this morning, according to a release.

Jennings, superintendent of Muskegon Public Schools in Muskegon, Mich., was chosen from a field of three finalists selected from nearly 140 applicants. Commission members praised his background and experience in curriculum and special education.

“I’m looking forward to working with the school board, the commission and the community to help our scholars in the Youngstown City School District,” Jennings said in the release.

Before the vote, John Richard, commission chairman, thanked the community for participating in the selection process. He also thanked the commission, school board members, district administrators and employees for their work and assistance during the process.

In January, Youngstown City Schools announced it contracted the Sagamore Hills-based Finding Leaders to find a new CEO to replace outgoing Krish Mohip, who has served as CEO since 2016. Mohip announced he would not seek an extension when his contract expires July 31.

The firm conducted meetings to gather input from stakeholder focus groups, including parents, students, teachers, staff, administrators, community groups, elected officials, clergy and representatives of area service organizations.

Jennings’ contract will begin Aug. 1.

Before serving as the Muskegon superintendent for two-and-a-half years, Jennings was special education director and assistant superintendent for the district, according to the Muskegon Public Schools website. For five years, he served as assistant principal at Grand Rapids Creston High School and Union High School in the Grand Rapids Public Schools district, as well as head principal at Union High School for two years.

As head principal of Holland High School and New Tech High in Holland, Mich., oversaw 1,650 students in 8th through 12th grade. From 2013 to 2015, he served as executive vice principal of Ypsilanti Community Schools.

Jennings also served as president of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, and served on the Michigan Principal Fellowship & Coaches Institute Principals Advisory Council. He is a member of Purdue University’s President’s Council.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue and three master’s degrees from Grand Valley State University in Educational Leadership, Special Education Administration and Special Education with an emphasis on emotional impairments. In December 2013, he earned an Educational Specialist Degree in Leadership from Grand Valley State. He is currently working on his dissertation for a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of Michigan.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.