Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
Fort hires area native Firks as superintendent
By William Kincaid
FORT RECOVERY - Board of education members at a special meeting on Monday night hired Coldwater native Justin Firks as the Fort Recovery Local Schools' new superintendent.
Firks was given a two-year contract, effective July 13, according to board president Jose Faller. Treasurer Lori Koch could not be reached this morning to confirm Firks' starting salary. Shelly Vaughn, who has served as superintendent since 2012, currently earns a base salary of $99,778. Firks likely will start 10 days before his contract begins to work with Vaughn to "get the lay of the land and have her show me the ropes," he said.
Thirteen people had applied to take over the district's top administrative position, and Firks, the Fort Loramie Junior/Senior High School principal, was selected over finalists Jeff Hobbs, the Fort Recovery High School principal, and Jason Wood, the Franklin Monroe Middle School/High School principal.
"It was a very difficult decision," Faller said.
Firks, according to Faller, scored the highest on the board's leadership criteria, which included integrity, communication, culture, vision, inspiration, knowledge, accessibility, sense of purpose, board relations and financial acuity.
"We liked his enthusiasm," Faller said. "He had several ideas that we thought were really good and could add something to our district."
Firks this morning said it's an honor and privilege to be named superintendent of a school system built on a tradition of excellence and pride.
He appreciates the opportunity and looks forward to moving to Fort Recovery with his family, enrolling his three daughters in school and meeting with stakeholders, including teachers, students and parents, Firks said.
He also plans to be actively engaged and visible in the community, he said.
Having grown up in Mercer County, Firks said he knows the area is built on a solid work ethic, strong families and excellent school systems.
Firks, who has filled his principal's position since 2012, has also served as a high school social studies teacher at New Bremen Local Schools, Jackson Center Local Schools and Napoleon area schools. He also served as a special education instructor at Jackson Center Local Schools and Parkway Local Schools.
He has been a head baseball coach, assistant varsity football coach, junior varsity boys basketball coach and assistant athletic director, according to his resume.
A Coldwater High School graduate, Firks has degrees from Wright State University and Nova Southeastern University and earned his superintendent's license at the University of Dayton.