By Ed Runyan
Michael Notar, hired Friday morning as superintendent of Warren City Schools, hasn’t taught dozens of college-level classes on human behavior like his predecessor, but he brings an impressive breadth of experience and energy to the job.
Notar, 43, of Boardman, was superintendent of Brookfield Local Schools, his alma mater, from 2005 to 2007, then principal at Niles McKinley High School 2007 to 2010 and then business manager and then Harding High School principal the past two years.
He also worked several years apiece before that at Boardman, Crestview, South Range and Ottoville, Ohio.
Regina Patterson, school board president, said Notar “showed us you were committed to the district,” adding, “I’ve seen the work you’ve put into the high school. I know you’ve built relationships with the students and the parents.”
Board member Bob Faulkner noted Notar’s “contacts and connections” throughout the Mahoning Valley and said “There are a lot of people who want to see you succeed, and especially this board.”
Notar was selected to replace Bruce Thomas, who abruptly resigned June 24 after less than a year on the job. That followed reports that Thomas was having a romantic relationship with a staff member.
Thomas, who has a doctoral degree and was praised for his background in counseling and psychology, said he quit because of his relationship with the school board.
Board member Rhonda Baldwin-Amorganos said she knows of Notar’s ability to be Warren superintendent because of having worked with him at Brookfield, where she served as district treasurer.
The Brookfield school system was in chaos during much of Notar’s time there. The district struggled through poor academic performance, board controversy, financial problems and labor strife.
Baldwin-Amorganos praised Notar’s work in Brookfield “despite some obstacles.”
Faulkner said he viewed the selection of Notar as superintendent and Dante Capers as Notar’s replacement as Harding High School principal as positive messages to all district employees that “if you work hard, there’s a future for you at Warren City Schools.”
Patterson said earlier in the week that the board had not done any advertising to replace Thomas, who left at a time of year that made a comprehensive search difficult. The board conducted a comprehensive search using the Ohio School Boards Association at the time it hired Thomas.
Board member Patty Limperos said she watched Notar interact with parents and students at a sporting event this year and liked what she saw.
“I’m feeling tremendous happiness this morning, and I haven’t felt that way in quite a while,” she said.
Notar said he wants to have a long tenure at Warren City Schools “and take the district in a positive way.”
Board member Andre Coleman said of Capers, who has worked as assistant principal at Harding for five years: “I know you are ready for this position.”
Patterson added of Capers: “This is a very proud moment. You are a product of Warren City Schools, and especially the African American children will see that ‘working hard and getting an education, I can be a Mr. Capers.’”
Notar will make $110,000 as superintendent, the same as Thomas. Capers will earn $98,072. Michael Wasser, former McDonald superintendent, hired earlier in the week as the school district’s business manager, will earn about $92,000.