WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — Michael Notar, who has led the Warren City Schools for the past two years, has accepted a position as superintendent of Conneaut Schools in Ashtabula County.
The Conneaut Board of Education held a special meeting Tuesday morning where his hiring was approved. He was one of 18 applicants for the position, according to Conneat Board of Education President Chris Newcomb.
Newcomb said Tuesday they offered a three-year contract to Notar late last week.
Notar will start Aug. 1 in Conneaut. His first-year salary will be $97,000, which is $13,000 less than his salary in Warren, where he makes $110,000. That figure will increase to $98,500 in the second year and $100,000 in the third year.
“It wasn’t about the money. It was about finding the perfect fit for me and my family,” Notar said.
Notar said the life of a superintendent in a large school district is about 3.2 years because it can lead to burnout.
“I’m 21 years into education, 15 more to go where I can go and spend some longevity and not get burned out so easily,” he said.
Notar also said he always envisioned working in a smaller rural school district again like Brookfield, where he is from and where he was superintendent at one time.
“When I went up for the interview, it brought back memories of me growing up and going through high school and stuff. I was the superintendent of Brookfield, where I grew up and graduated, so I know what it is like to be in a smaller school district like that,” Notar said.
He believes he can serve out the remainder of his career in Conneaut like the school district’s current superintendent. Conneaut student enrollment is about 1,700.
Warren Board of Education member Robert Faulkner said he was surprised by Notar’s decision, but wished him well and said Notar laid a good foundation for the next superintendent. Faulkner said under Notar, there has been adequate progress such as expanding pre-K to all four schools for next year and organizing PTOs in all of the elementary schools.
“Discipline has decreased substantially and not only that, graduation rates continue to improve. We have more of our students taking challenging kinds of courses,” Faulkner said.
However, Faulkner said significant academic challenges remain in the areas of teaching and learning.
Notar said will miss Warren, but he is most proud of the Parent Teacher Organizations he established.
“Just getting the parents actively involved and more involved in our schools and letting them know the door is open and we have to kind of do this together,” he said.
Faulkner said the board will accept Notar’s resignation at Tuesday’s Warren Board of Education meeting. The board will review suggestions for a short-term interim superintendent or going out for a new search and will decide in the next few weeks.
Also resigning at Tusday’s meeting is Vice-President Rhonda Baldwin-Amorganos, who has accepted a position with the Ohio Department Education as a member of the District Review Team with the center for accountability and continuous improvement.