Interim Superintendent, Columbus City Schools | 2018 - Present
A true champion of public education in Central Ohio for more than two decades, Dr. John D. Stanford is the Interim Superintendent of Columbus City Schools, managing the operations of Ohio’s largest school district and advancing the academic achievement of its more than 51,500 students.
Dr. Stanford was appointed Interim Superintendent by the Columbus Board of Education, starting in January 2018, having served as Deputy Superintendent for more than five years and more than three years as the District’s Chief Operating Officer. During that time, Columbus City Schools has increased access to high quality pre-Kindergarten experiences, served more students with Limited English Proficiency and Special Needs than any other district in the region, eliminated the achievement gaps in 26 of our schools, provided a greater return on taxpayer investments by reducing administrative overhead, and implemented digital and physical data review systems to provide constant updates on vital student-related data measurements.
As a statewide advocate for public education, Dr. Stanford served four years as the top education advisor to Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, helping to develop and implement the Governor’s annual education budget of almost $11 billion. Dr. Stanford was also part of the leadership team behind the state’s win of a $400 million Race to the Top federal education grant. Under Dr. Stanford’s watch, the state launched several education initiatives and reforms including a strong focus on STEM schools, new academic standards, early childhood education improvements, and new teacher certification standards.
Previously, Dr. Stanford has taught as an Assistant Professor and Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs; championed elected leadership in public education in leadership roles at the Ohio School Boards Association; and served Columbus City Schools as Supervisor of Legislative Services and Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Board Services and Government Affairs.
For his leadership in education advocacy, Dr. Stanford earned a 2015 Ohio School Boards Association Central Region Exemplary School Employee and the 2009 Ohio University College of Education Samuel I. Hicks Executive-in-Residence awards. He’s an alumnus of Leadership Columbus and serves on the Boards of the Franklin County Children’s Council and Franklin County Family and Children’s First Council. He’s also the founding President of the 100 Black Men of Central Ohio and an inactive member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Dr. Stanford earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Central Michigan University and his Juris Doctor and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from The Ohio State University. He and his wife Robin Lipscomb-Stanford are the proud parents of Nia Stanford. They attend St. Philips Episcopal Church in Columbus.