SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — The Shawnee school board went with experience and hired former Perry schools Superintendent Mike Lamb to be the next to lead the district.
The school board unanimously hired Lamb, currently superintendent at McComb schools in Hancock County, at its Tuesday meeting. Board President Ellen Rovner said with a relatively new treasurer and changes coming from the state, the board wanted someone with Lamb’s experience.
“We have a very successful school district and we want to see that continue and we thought someone with his kind of experience would allow us to move forward in that success,” she said.
Lamb, 60, will replace Paul Nardini, who will retire at the end of July. The board and Lamb agreed to a three-year contract with a $95,000 base salary. Lamb continues to live in Shawnee Township.
“I am humbled and honored to get this job and it kind of energizes me because it is a new challenge,” he said. “My children graduated from Shawnee schools, so it gives me an opportunity to kind of pay back and pay forward. It really is an exciting time and an exciting time to be in education.”
Fifteen people applied for the job, with the board interviewing six. On Monday, the board talked again with Lamb and Vicki Brunns, human resource director at Talawanda schools in Oxford in southern Ohio and a former teacher and principal at Findlay High School.
Lamb said his interest in the position stemmed from the quality of the school district, calling Shawnee one of the premier districts in the state.
“Arguably it is the epitome of schools in this area and one of the best in the entire state,” he said. “Frankly, the Shawnee superintendent position is one of the top jobs in the state.”
Lamb has served as superintendent of McComb schools since 2007. He was superintendent at Perry schools for 20 years, serving as the high school principal the previous five years.
A graduate of Bath High School, he began his career teaching English at Apollo Career Center and then was assistant principal at Columbus Grove High School. He was 38 years in education, 26 of those as superintendent.
“We are excited,” Rovner said. “We are glad that we got a strong candidate and someone with his kind of experience that wants to come here and try to continue the good path that Shawnee schools is on and carry us forward to continue that success, and we think that Mike can help us do that.”
Like every district in the state, Shawnee will face a host of changes and mandates coming from the state, including new teacher evaluations, common core curriculum, standardized tests, district report cards and school funding formula.
“My goal is to be able to provide some stable leadership as we work through all of these mandates and legislative changes coming out of Columbus,” he said. “Shawnee already has an excellent tradition, an excellent staff, excellent community and excellent students. What we need to do is just to build on that tradition of excellence and still incorporate the new changes coming down the pike.”