HOUSTON — Ryan Maier, currently the junior high and high school principal of Hardin-Houston Local Schools, has been named its new superintendent, effective Aug. 1.
In action during a special meeting, Friday, Feb. 22, the Board of Education unanimously voted to hire him on a three-year contract at an annual salary of $102,500.
The vote came after an executive session that lasted 57 minutes. Hiring the superintendent was the only item on the agenda.
Larry Claypool, who has been the superintendent for the last eight years, will retire as of July 31.
The board selected Maier after interviewing six of 13 applicants for the position and conducting second interviews with three finalists.
Maier earned his Bachelor of Science in education from Wilmington College and a Master of Science in Education in educational leadership from the University of Dayton, where he also earned his principal and superintendent licensure.
“We interviewed a lot of good candidates,” said board President Joel Knouff after the meeting. “We narrowed it down to three. They all could have done a wonderful job, but Ryan was the best for the district.” It’s Maier’s heart, Knouff added, that made him the best.
“You can see his love and passion for education and the students involved and the staff involved,” Knouff said.
That heart is not surprising. Maier is a resident of Houston, was a student of the school from kindergarten through 12th grade, and he taught math and coached baseball and basketball at Hardin-Houston High for 10 years before becoming principal 12 years ago. It’s the only place he has worked. His wife, Gina, is a teacher and coach at Hardin-Houston, and their daughters, Megan, 15, Katie, 13, and Olivia, 9, are students in the ninth, seventh and third grades, respectively.
“He bleeds red and white,” said board member Barri Grandey of Maier.
The new superintendent acknowledges his feelings about the district.
“I love it here. It’s treated me good all the way through. My wife and I are very dedicated to the school system. I wouldn’t want my kids to go anywhere else,” he said.
He’s looking forward to overseeing the whole school after his years as a principal of just half of it.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity. It’s a dream job for me,” he said.
The biggest challenge Maier foresees is “like always, being fiscally responsible. You never know what the economy will do. School funding comes around every two years. It ebbs and flows,” he said.
A small crowd of about 20 teachers, parents and students waited through the executive session to hear the announcement and applauded the board’s decision.
“He’s a good fit, and he’s exactly what the district needs right now,” Knouff said. “We’re looking forward to starting this next era in our district.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.