John Zucal hired to lead Conotton Valley District

The Conotton Valley School Board has hired Elementary Principal John Zucal as the district’s new superintendent.

The board held a special meeting Monday to fill the position of superintendent, left vacant by the resignation of Todd Herman at the April regular meeting.

Zucal, who was hired as the elementary principal at the start of the current school year, was appointed acting superintendent from April 27 to July 31 at a rate of $200 a day.

The board further approved the hiring of Zucal as superintendent, for a 5-year term, beginning August 1, at the rate of $130,000 per year.

Of the new position, Zucal said, “I am extremely humbled and honored to be named the next Superintendent of the Conotton Valley Union Local School District. My gratitude extends to the members of the school board for placing their faith and trust in me. “

Zucal brings over 38 years of experience as an educator, including 33 as an administrator.

Throughout his educational career, Zucal served as principal of Immaculate Conception School in Dennison and Central Elementary in New Philadelphia while holding teaching positions in Marietta and Lakewood, Ohio. He brings a wealth of experience to the district with training in continuous school improvement as well as serving as a New Philadelphia City Councilman, where he chaired both the salary committee and the airport commission, served on committees finance and public works and economic development, and was appointed to the local board of health.

Asked about his goals for the district, Zucal offered this assessment: “Working alongside our incredible administrative team, we are fully committed to ensuring that our teachers receive the resources they need so our students can achieve the fullness of their human potential. When our young adults leave us and continue on their life journey, we hope they can reflect on their upbringing and say that we care very much about them as people and have given them every opportunity to allow their dreams to come true.

Of her time so far at Conotton, Zucal said, “This community, its commitment and dedication to each other is so inspiring and keeps me motivated every day. I look forward to working even more closely with our amazing leadership team to build even stronger relationships with our students and their families while ensuring that each of our young people is empowered to realize their full human potential.

Outgoing superintendent Todd Herman will end his duties from May 9, but his salary will continue until June 9, to match his official resignation date.

Herman was principal of Conotton Secondary School for three years, before taking on the role of superintendent in 2015. Zucal said he felt “Herman has laid a solid foundation for success. That being said, I’m confident our Rockets will reach new heights.”

Zucal will serve as acting superintendent and elementary principal, the position he currently holds, for the remainder of this school year.

ucal and his wife Wendy, director of the Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, reside in New Philadelphia. They are the parents of three adult children, Caitlin, Ethan and Madeleine and are expecting their first grandchild in June.

In other actions, the council:

• Approval of an estimate in the amount of $74,397.00 from Staley Technologies to upgrade the camera system at the school. The quote includes material and labor.

• Filing, until the May 19 meeting, of a bid from Vasco for the artificial turf for the baseball field in the amount of $953,530.00 and the softball field in the amount of $505,475.00.

UP NEXT Regular meeting Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. at the Rocket Center Library.

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