On Nov. 5, the Canal Winchester Board of Education unanimously selected James Sotlar from a field of 30 applicants to replace Superintendent Kim Miller-Smith, who is retiring as of Dec. 31.
Sotlar is currently the assistant superintendent for Pickerington Local Schools. He will officially start work in Canal Winchester on Jan. 1 and his contract will run through July 31, 2015. His annual base salary will be $118,735.
"We had some really outstanding candidates," said Canal Winchester school board President Deb Waites. "Jim stood out with his experience from his interim as superintendent at Pickerington as well as his years as the assistant there."
Waites said Sotlar’s knowledge of the issues facing the district, including the change in the report card, the changes in standards, the third grade reading guarantee, and the expiring emergency levy the district will be facing, impressed the board.
"His passion for education, on every level, from the students and staff to the community is evident in not just his past positions, but also in the vision he laid out for us as we move forward," said Waites.
Though Sotlar won’t officially start work in the district until January, Waites said the new superintendent "will be in our district off and on between now and the first of the year meeting staff and the community and working with Kim, hopefully providing a smooth transition for him and the district."
According to Waites, Sotlar has more than 17 years of experience in the field of education and has worked in the classroom as well as administration.