The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 23, 2013

Jefferson hires new leader for schools

JAHS Principal J.C. Montanaro to take over Aug. 1 as superintendent

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — The Jefferson Area Local School District completed its search for a superintendent Tuesday, hiring one of its own to lead the district.

Jefferson Area Local High School Principal John (J.C.) Montanaro will take over as superintendent Aug. 1, said Pat Inman, school board president.

“After a thorough search for a strong instructional and community leader who is also a good fit for Jefferson, the board believes that we have found our new superintendent right in our own district,” Inman said. “Mr. Montanaro had fine recommendations and we were impressed with his demeanor, knowledge of our district and commitment to excellence.”

The district had 20 applicants for the position. Four individuals were chosen for a second round of interviews, she said.

Inman said the board appreciated Montanaro’s former accounting degree and could see that he has a strong vision and love for the communities of the district.

“We have been fortunate to have an excellent group of administrators, including our superintendents both past and present,” she said. “Our principals are top-notch.”

Montanaro has been a part of the district’s administrative team for the past six years, which will help provide a seamless transition between superintendents, said Dr. Patricia Hoyson, school board vice president.

Montanaro began his education career as a teacher and administrator in the Ashtabula Area City School District. He came to Jefferson in 2007 and served as the assistant principal for the grades 7 through 12 building before becoming principal at JAHS. Montanaro’s wife, Maggie, is a teacher in the Ashtabula schools. They have two children, John and James, both students at Jefferson Elementary School.

Montanaro said the district is facing many economic challenges, but he believes he will be able to make good decisions for the children of the district by working collaboratively with the staff, the school board and the community.

“I will strive to lead the district with integrity and make decisions based on the analysis of our data,” he said. “The Jefferson Area Local School District is a great place to work. I welcome the opportunity to become Jefferson Area Local Schools’ superintendent and will strive to be the strong leader we need.”

Montanaro said he is committed to the district’s students and providing them the best education possible.

Montanaro’s new appointment will leave an administrative position open in the district. Inman said the board has not made any decisions regarding that position at this time.

“The decision needs to be made whether we are going to replace or adjust and realign,” she said.

Doug Hladek, superintendent, announced his intent to retire back in December. Hladek led the district for seven years. After joining the district in 2006, Hladek saw the district through a building project that included two elementary schools, a junior high and high school.

Hladek’s last day will be June 30, which will leave the district without a superintendent for the month of July. Inman said the district will have to make some sort of arrangements and the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center may help out as well.