December 22, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
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Black River school board selects 1984 graduate as new superintendent

Black River Schools is replacing outgoing superintendent Janice Wyckoff with one of its own. The school board hired Chris Clark, a 1984 graduate of Black River High School, as their new superintendent at a special meeting Tuesday night.

“I look forward to working with you all,” he told the board and residents who attended the meeting.

Newly hired Black River Schools Superintendent Chris Clark attends Tuesday’s school board meeting with his wife, Barb, and daughters, Morgan and Shelby. A 1984 Black River graduate, Clark said he is looking forward to leading the district. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

Newly hired Black River Schools Superintendent Chris Clark attends Tuesday’s school board meeting with his wife, Barb, and daughters, Morgan and Shelby. A 1984 Black River graduate, Clark said he is looking forward to leading the district. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

“I value my education from Black River Local Schools and would be honored to mold and develop students from the same district that molded and developed my education,” he said.

Clark’s two-year-contract provides for an annual salary of $95,000 — the smallest superintendent’s salary among the seven school districts serving Medina County and the same pay Wyckoff received. Her five-year contract, which expires July 31, called for her to be paid $97,375 last year, but she declined to accept the increase because of the district’s tight finances.

Black River passed its first additional operating levy in 16 years in May 2013.

Clark has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Ohio State University in agriculture and administrative training from the University of Dayton and Ashland University.

He previously worked for Madison Plains Schools in London, Ohio, for 25 years, including six years as principal of the high school.

He also operates a family farm in New London and has close ties with the Black River community.

Wyckoff told the board in February that she was resigning to accept the superintendent position for Clear Fork Valley Schools in Bellville. She starts there Aug. 1.

Clark will take over as superintendent July 1.

The school board started vetting candidates to fill Wyckoff’s position in May.

After narrowing down the 23 candidates to Clark and one other applicant last week, board President Jody Weidrick said the board decided on Clark based on his history with the district.

“He is a Black River grad,” she said. “He works well in our system and has for a long time.”

Clark agreed.

“I feel like I’m home,” he said.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.