Triad Local Schools’ incoming superintendent strongest drive is to improve student learning.
The Triad school board approved hiring Chris Piper, currently principal at Jonathan Alder Junior High School in Plain City, at a special Friday meeting.
“My first priority is student achievement,” he said. “I also want to get familiar with Triad and see what I can improve on, and see what’s already in place.”
Piper replaces Superintendent Matt Sheridan, who is resigning to take over the superintendency at Crooksville Exempted Village Schools in Crooksville.
The board approved a five-year contract for Piper beginning Aug. 1 at its Friday meeting. His salary will be $90,000 based on a 260-day contract. The board also approved paying $362.90 per day to Piper for days worked from June 23 to July 31, on an as-needed basis.
Piper, 41, is a Marysville resident who was first attracted to the superintendent’s seat because of the area. Piper grew up in Richwood, which he said is a similar community.
“I’ve heard nothing but good things about Triad,” he said.
Piper is a graduate of Wright State University — he received his bachelor and masters degrees from the school, and received his principal licensure from Wright State and superintendent licensure from the University of Dayton. He has also worked as a principal and district transportation director at Canaan Middle School in Plain City, and as an assistant principal and athletic director at Jonathan Alder High School prior to becoming principal there.
Leaving the area where he spent 15 years of his life has been tough, but Piper said he’s looking forward to a new challenge.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” he said, adding he’s worked with some great superintendents in the past and he hopes he can become one of them.
Triad school board President Chris Millice said Piper became the board’s choice because of his years in K-12 education.
“Mr. Piper’s 17 years of public education experience, his understanding of academic success, and his history as a long term leader were items that stood out in the interview process,” he said. “Over the last five years Mr. Piper led his building to receive the status of ‘Excellence with Distinction’ by meeting all state testing indicators.”
The “excellence with distinction” rank was the highest rank in the Ohio Department of Education’s grading system before that changed to the A-F grade system.
The other superintendent candidate was former Urbana University President Kirk Peterson. Millice said Peterson would be an excellent superintendent, however the board needed someone who could come in and “hit the ground running” in the district, whereas Peterson may have had to work hard quickly to get up to speed in public education.
“The board of education’s final two candidates had strong credentials, but Mr. Piper’s experience in the K-12 public school system, enthusiasm and commitment to the faculty and community made him the strongest candidate to lead the district,” Millice said.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at (937) 652-1331, ext. 219 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.