BELPRE - Following weeks of interviews, the Belpre City Schools District Board of Education unanimously voted in its new superintendent Monday night.
The board announced Tony Dunn as the new superintendent with a $95,000 a year three-year contract beginning May 1 and ending July 31, 2014.
"I'm thrilled to be in Belpre, even though I'm not here yet, officially," Dunn told a crowd of about 75 people. "I will do the best that I can for this school district and I have nothing but the best in mind for you.
Upcoming Belpre City Schools Superintendent Tony Dunn mingles with community members and school offi
"I look forward to being here and part of this community for a long time," he said.
Dunn is working as the superintendent for Georgetown Exempted Village in Georgetown, Ohio, near Cincinnati and has 24 years of educational experience.
"The first thing I plan to do is get out in the community and get to know the parents and the children," he said.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Newly introduced Belpre Superintendent of Schools Tony Dunn speaks to the crowd Monday night as outgoing superintendent Harry Fleming listens.
Bill Van Pelt, president of the Belpre Teachers Association, said he believes the board chose wisely among the three candidates: Dunn, Thomas Gay and William McKinney.
"I do think that (Dunn) was the right decision," Van Pelt said. "I think that what Belpre needs right now is a person with good public relations skills and I can feel with him that he's at ease with people and believes in the public education system and will work to make a difference."
Following the meeting, while Dunn spoke with community members, the board members also talked to Belpre residents. During these chats, several of the board members said Dunn stood out as a front-runner for the position from the beginning.
Tony Dunn File
Belpre City Schools Board of Education announced Tony Dunn as the new district superintendent during a special meeting on Monday.
Dunn is the superintendent of Georgetown Exempted Village in Georgetown, Ohio, with 24 years of experience and will begin in Belpre on May 1.
School officials and community members said the board chose a good candidate for the job.
"The only thing I would like to say is that this is a process that takes quite a while," said board member Leonard Wiggins. "When you guys are thinking that they just went out and hired a superintendent, you are wrong.
"This is something we all thought meticulously about for the betterment of our community, of our schools and of the kids."
Dunn calmed people's fears that coming from the Cincinnati area he would not be comfortable or like small town life.
"The district I'm currently in has 1,060 students, so coming to Belpre will not be a big change," he said. "Finances will always be horrible, but kids are always the most important part."
The board began searching for a new superintendent on Dec. 2 and worked closely with Kendall Lee, search consultant with the Ohio School Boards Association.
The board also approved the resignation of current superintendent Harry Fleming on April 30.
Board member Mike Wile thanked Fleming for his seven years of service to the district.
"It hasn't always been a smooth-sailing ship, but, in my mind, he has done a great job for us," Wile said.