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Published: Thursday, 7/3/2008

Clay principal to lead Oregon City Schools

Michael Zalar will be the next superintendent of Oregon City Schools.

Last night, the Oregon School Board selected Mr. Zalar, the principal of Clay High School, from a field of 16 applicants.

"I'm excited for the opportunity the board has given me," said Mr. Zalar, who has served as Clay principal since 2002 and previously was principal of Patrick Henry High School in Hamler, Ohio, from 1999 to 2002.

Board member Jeff Ziviski said Mr. Zalar was "at the top of everyone's list."

"He's a tailor-fit for what the district needs right now," Mr. Ziviski said.

Mr. Zalar, whose appointment is effective today, was selected over Richard Heintschel, interim superintendent of Fostoria Community Schools, who has been in education for 37 years. Mr. Heintschel's son, Eric Heintschel, is Oregon school board president. He recused himself from the search process.

Mr. Zalar agreed to a three-year contract with the district, paying him a base salary of $108,665 a year. It's a smaller yearly sum than the $143,178 salary of outgoing superintendent John C. Hall, who resigned May 21 to lead Barberton City Schools.

John Gilliland, Oregon assistant superintendent and director of business affairs and operations, had been the interim superintendent.

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