ELIDA — Joel Hatfield is stepping up to the position of interim superintendent for Elida Local School District.
During a special meeting Tuesday morning, the school board voted unanimously to have the former Spencerville superintendent serve one school year in the position.
The contract with Elida’s current superintendent, Tony Cox, will end July 31. Hatfield’s tenure will begin Aug. 1.
Hatfield was approached by Dean Wittwer, superintendent with the Allen County Educational Service Center, for the position.
“They asked me if I would be willing to consider the position, to sit down with the board and I hadn’t really given it any thought,” he said.
“I think [Hatfield] is a tremendous professional and has been well-respected as a superintendent and educator in the county for a long period of time,” Wittwer said.
Though Hatfield is employed, in a marketing position, for Fanning Howey Architects in Celina, he said talking the superintendent position over with Wittwer generated interest.
“I got a little excited about it and decided it wouldn’t hurt to talk to the board at Elida and I liked what I heard and decided, for one year, it would be a great opportunity and a great challenge for me,” he said.
Wittwer said he approached four or five people who were qualified for the job, however Hatfield “rose to the top.”
“We’re thrilled to get somebody with [Hatfield’s] experience and knowledge and somebody who has been around education for a long time,” said Joel Parker, treasurer for Elida schools.
“We’re excited to have him here on staff. We’ve got a number of great things going on, that to add somebody of Joel’s caliber to what we’re doing, we’re thrilled,” he said.
Hatfield worked with the Spencerville Local School District for a total of 36 years, he said.
Though his role will to be to serve the school district, Hatfield said he will be working with the school to find another superintendent that will “come in and spend a lot of years here and continue the success that Elida has had in the past.”
Hatfield will be paid $92,000 annually and will be allowed 25 vacation days from Aug. 1 of this year until July 31, 2016, according to the Elida school board.
“I appreciate the role the board has played in this and the trust that they have given our organization … to help them in this process,” Wittwer said.