When South-Western City Schools Superintendent Dr. R. Kirk Hamilton announced he was leaving his position to become the deputy executive director of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the board knew they would have big shoes to fill.
Instead of searching far and wide to fill that open position, they looked right in their own backyard.
After the executive session of the SWCS board meeting on Oct. 8, the board announced they would hire Deputy Superintendent William Wise to fill the position.
"It was a unanimous decision that we hire Bill as our new superintendent," said Board President Jim Lester. "We didn’t have any doubts."
He started out as a mathematics teacher at Tiffin Columbian High School in 1990. By 1997, he was the principal of the school, where he stayed until SWCS snatched him up in 2002 to become their assistant superintendent of curriculum. Last January, the board promoted Wise to the role of deputy superintendent, involving him in all aspects of the district’s operation.
"I am excited about the opportunity to serve the district in a new role," Wise said. "I want what is best for the district over the long haul."
During his stint as the superintendent of curriculum, the district watched as test scores moved forward while it also increased its performance index score and graduation rate.
"Our direction as an organization is to continue to work to increase student achievement," said Wise. "I would like to work together as a staff and community to be able to be proud and to strengthen the opportunity for students after they graduate from high school."
Hamilton will take his new position on Dec. 31. The following day, Wise will enter into his new role with a three-and-a-half year contract to provide the district with long-term stability.
"The district has functioned very well as a team," Wise said. "I am not any more or less important that anyone else. I just perform a different set of tasks."
SWCS is the sixth largest school district in the state. Wise will get a salary of $152,000 a year.