WADSWORTH: The Wadsworth Board of Education voted 5-0 Wednesday night to hire Waterloo Superintendent Andy Hill.
Hill said he is thankful for the opportunity to be Wadsworth’s superintendent. He will replace Dale Fortner, who is retiring.
While excited about the challenge of leading a larger district, Hill said he has “mixed emotions” about leaving Waterloo, where he has served for three years.
“It’ll be hard to say goodbye,” Hill said.
Waterloo’s entire student population is roughly 300 pupils fewer than the number attending Wadsworth High School.
Hill, 37, said leading a smaller school district helped him to learn how to fine-tune efficiency and learn every aspect of the job.
“It gives you an opportunity to be involved in a lot of areas,” he said.
Wadsworth school board President Chuck Pfeister agreed, saying, “You do everything but drive a school bus.”
Pfeister said Hill stood out in a field of 35 candidates. He commended Hill’s intelligence, sharp memory and charisma.
“I tell you what,” Pfeister said, “we picked a pretty sharp young man here.”
The board set Hill’s base salary at $130,000 and his start date as Aug. 1. He also can receive up to $10,000 for moving expenses to encourage him to relocate inside the district’s boundaries.
His contract with Waterloo schools ends July 31.
Pfeister said his district has no plans to ask voters for additional money, but it is nice to have a superintendent with experience in getting a levy passed. Waterloo succeeded in gaining voter approval for an issue in February.
“A superintendent is the focal point of a levy campaign,” Pfeister said. “Truthfully, it’s going to be a few years before we ask for money. We’ll stretch it as long as we can.”
With Wadsworth schools rated “Excellent with Distinction” — the state report card equivalent of an A+ — for the past four years, Pfeister sees the next challenge as navigating a “tight budget.”
Hill led Waterloo through $2 million in cuts before voters approved additional funds.
“I’m stepping into a situation where there is a great group of people,” Hill said.
Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or firstname.lastname@example.org.