The North Canton City Schools Board of Education unanimously approved Michael Hartenstein, assistant superintendent at Parma City School District, as North Canton's new superintendent Tuesday.
Hartenstein replaces Michael Gallina, who and accept a position as director of outreach and organizational development with AultCare Health Network. Gallina's last day is June 30.
The School Board used the Stark County Educational Service Center to help choose the new superintendent from a pool of about 20 candidates. They had .
Board President Nancy Marion said Hartenstein, a resident of Berea, will bring new ideas to the district.
"We were very impressed with him and the many talents and skills that he brings to our community," she said. "We feel very confident that he will take us into the future, leading us forward, maintaining the excellence that we expect from a superintendent."
Hartenstein signed on to a three-year contract, effective Aug. 1 and running through July 31, 2015. His base salary is $125,000.
He attended the meeting with his wife, Meg, a math teacher at Parma Senior High, Tuesday in the Media Center. He said the two plan to move closer to North Canton as soon as they can.
The level of excellence, parental involvement and support the community shows the school district attracted Hartenstein to the superintendent position, he said.
Hartenstein plans to familiarize himself with the community through a "meet the superintendent" event as well as open door sessions every week or two.
"I tend to be as visible as I possible can. Whether it's sporting events, or community events, or walking the buildings during the day, having lunch with folks in the buildings," he said. "As the face of the school district, I think it's important that I'm out, that folks get to see me."
"I think it's really hard for people to sit in an office and have a real grasp of what's going on, so I don't intend to be in my office all that much unless I have to be."
Hartenstein comes into the district as it transitions into all-day, everyday kindergarten (what Gallina termed the "Unified Elementary Design"). He said the realignment of the schools itself doesn't pose the biggest challenge to him; making the students and parents feel comfortable with the changes is what he will concentrate on.
As far as other challenges go, Hartenstein foresees a hurdle in keeping up with growing demands while state dollars are decreasing. He not only wants to keep the level of excellence in the district, but he's interested in raising it.
"I'm not interested in just maintaining the status quo," he said. "I'd really like to see if I can bring some additional ideas and fresh energy to the job and just make this experience better for the kids."
In other business:
- The board approved Henry "Bud" Householder, former associate principal of Lousville High School, and Tom Oakes, a math teacher at Hoover High since 1998, as associate principals of Hoover High.