The Solon Board of Education named Fred Bolden as superintendent of the Solon City School District.
Bolden stepped in as interim superintendent July 7 after the death of former Superintendent Joseph Regano. His three-year contract was approved retroactive to Aug. 1.
In an Aug. 10 statement, Solon Board of Education president Julie Glavin said Bolden has been an integral member of Solon schools for more than 20 years. She described him as a driving force in the district’s continued success.
“Fred has a tremendous intellect and is extraordinarily solution-oriented,” Glavin said. “He is forward-thinking with an uncanny ability to see and understand the big picture. Fred has worked tirelessly to earn the respect and trust of the board of education, his colleagues, staff, families, students and the entire Solon Schools community.”
Glavin commended Bolden for “stepping up, taking charge and never looking back” when Regano was required to take a medical leave from the district due to health issues. She said he worked “unimaginable hours” keeping the district on task, moving forward and managing operations through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The superintendent is the CEO of the school district and the primary professional adviser to the board of education. According to Glavin, the appointment of a new superintendent is one of the most important functions the board of education performs.
“We take this responsibility very seriously,” Glavin said. “Losing Joe Regano has been a major blow to our school district and the entire community. He was a giant of a man and after 35 years of service will be missed beyond words. Joe will always represent the heart and soul of the Solon schools, but the time has come to set our course for the future.”
Bolden worked alongside Regano as a central office administrator for eight years. Glavin said the board of education always intended for Bolden to work closely with Regano “to provide him with the opportunity to work with and learn from the best.”
Bolden thanked the board members for their confidence in his ability to lead the district during these challenging times and into the future.
“It is not lost on me that I am following in the footsteps of the greatest educational leader in our district’s history, Joe Regano. I am humbled by the honor,” Bolden said in the statement. “It is my goal to continue to work tirelessly for students, parents, staff and the community so that we maintain the tradition of excellence that was established decades ago.”
Bolden was a student teacher in fourth grade at Roxbury Elementary School in 1995. He moved with his wife and young son to Solon in 1997 to work at Parkside Elementary School.
He was assistant principal at Orchard Middle School from 2005 to 2006 and principal at Lewis Elementary School from 2006 to 2012.
Bolden joined the central office administrative team in 2012 as director of business and personnel and was promoted to assistant superintendent in 2016.
“I knew this was where I wanted to raise my family,” Bolden said. “I was not wrong. The years of success that we as a district have seen in academics, the arts, athletics and activities show that this is a special place for families to raise their children. This is my home, and I feel as though the people of this community are a part of my family.”
Both of his children are now Solon graduates, but during the time his son and daughter were students in the district, Bolden was an active parent volunteer, especially for Solon Music Parents.