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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
By Amy Kronenberger
Celina hires new superintendent
  CELINA - After three rounds of interviews, school officials have chosen a new superintendent.
School board members on Monday hired Jesse Steiner, the three-year superintendent at Hicksville Exempted Local Schools. Steiner signed a three-year contract with Celina, starting Oct. 22 and ending July 31, 2015. His salary will be $95,000 per year.
"It has been a fairly long and somewhat arduous process to arrive at tonight, but we are extremely pleased with the outcome," school board president Matt Gilmore said. "We left no stone unturned - literally in some cases."
Steiner was chosen from a pool of 30 candidates and joined seven other hopefuls in the first round of interviews in August. He and three others returned for a second interview a few weeks later; two finalists were interviewed last week.
"We had a really great pool of candidates, but it came down to this man and his clear passion for education, his innovation and just general good vibe, good character, good guy," Gilmore said.
Steiner, 41, began his teaching career in his hometown of Bluffton. He served five years as middle school principal at Elmwood Local Schools in Bloomdale before taking over as superintendent at Hicksville.
The father of three said he chose Celina because his wife, Christa, used to work in the city, and they know the area well. He said they know the reputation of the city and the school and wanted to be a part of it.
"I'm excited to be a part of Celina, to bring my family to the community," he said. "I can't wait to get started ... and I just can't wait to be part of the community and a part of the school."
He said he's anxious to get started working with the school building levy campaign and getting to know the district staff and students. Just two weeks after he takes over as superintendent, voters will decide on a $27.7 million bond issue that would construct a new elementary building and demolish East and West elementaries.
Steiner, his wife and his daughters, ages 16, 12 and 10, will move to Celina as soon as possible, he said. He also plans to take some time between now and Oct. 22 to work with interim superintendent Steve Keller for a smooth transition.
"I want to say a few words about Steve Keller and the fantastic job he did on relatively short notice," Gilmore said. "He came in ready to go, and the school year started and went off without a hitch. He really did a great job."
Keller accepted the position of interim superintendent in June to replace superintendent Matt Miller, who left June 30 for the superintendent position at Mentor Public Schools near Cleveland. Keller was a former superintendent at Parkway and high school principal at Coldwater.
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