July 23, 2016

Mostly clear

Wadsworth Schools hires Andrew Hill as superintendent

WADSWORTH — The Wadsworth Board of Education has chosen a new superintendent.

He’s Andrew Hill, now superintendent of Waterloo Schools in Atwater, Portage County.

Andrew Hill

The school board unanimously approved hiring Hill at a special meeting Wednesday night.

“I think you’re all going to find we’ve got the guy,” board President Chuck Pfeister said.

Pfeister said the board hired the search firm Finding Leaders, which narrowed a field of 35 candidates to six finalists — two of whom dropped out.

The board interviewed three candidates in addition to Hill: Tod Hug, superintendent of Ayersville Schools; Bill Seder, superintendent of Crestview Schools; and Mike Zalar, superintendent of Oregon Schools.

Hill, 37, will begin work Aug. 1. His three-year contract provides for a starting base salary of $130,000, including possible merit raises and other fringe benefits.

“We’re more than thrilled to be here tonight and to become part of this community,” Hill told board members.

He was accompanied at the meeting by his wife, Dawn, and a young daughter.

In his first few months as superintendent, Hill said he plans to “spend a lot of time meeting people and listening.”

Hill has been superintendent at Waterloo — which enrolls 1,250 students — for three years. Wadsworth Schools has about 4,700 students.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Toledo, as well as a doctorate in educational leadership, management and policy from Seton Hall University.

He and his wife live in Jackson Township, Stark County, and have two young children. Hill said he planned to move to Wadsworth.

Hill will replace Superintendent Dale Fortner, who announced he would retire from the district at the end of June.

Last week, Fortner, 53, was named vice president of human resources at Sandridge Food Corp. Fortner had been Wadsworth’s superintendent since 2001 and a teacher and principal since 1982.

Hill said he expected to work on an interim basis for the month after Fortner leaves until his contract begins.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.