By Ed Runyan
The Warren Board of Education has selected Steve Chiaro as its new superintendent, replacing Michael Notar, who leaves at the end of this month to become superintendent in Conneaut.
Chiaro, a Poland native, has been associate superintendent for 18 months and has served the school district in various teaching and administrative roles for the past 18 years.
A 1992 Poland Seminary High School graduate, Chiaro started his teaching career in Warren City Schools after his graduation from Youngstown State University. He also has a master’s degree.
He has worked as building principal at the Jefferson K-8 building, curriculum supervisor at Warren G. Harding High School for 18 months, middle-school assistant principal and other positions.
Top priorities for the district will be “raising expectations academically and behaviorally,” he said.
That includes improved academic scores; strengthening leadership among the school administration, teachers and students; and improving the safety of the facilities.
“We have to improve our academics. It’s just not acceptable,” he said. “Our district is struggling academically, and we spent the last year or more looking really deeply at the root causes, and we are improving our instruction for our students,” he said.
Now the district is ready to begin to implement its school-improvement plan, adding that one step has been the increase in preschool classes from two to eight. It was done at no cost to taxpayers, he said.
Notar, 45, was selected superintendent in Conneaut in early June, saying he applied for the job to do what’s best for his family and to find a community where he might be able to finish out his career. The Conneaut job pays $13,000 less the first year than the $110,000 he makes in Warren.
Chiaro, who will earn $120,000, was selected after an internal search, which school-board member Bob Faulkner said he feels sends a positive message to other district employees that they can be successful in the district.
“We have someone who’s right here. I want people in the system to know if you stay in the system and work hard, there’s a place for you.
“Steve has been around a long time. He started as a teacher, became a principal, has had jobs in administration. I think he’s committed.
“I’m hoping he’ll be around a while,” he added. “He’s knowledgeable and data driven. I think the team will rally around him.”
Notar has been superintendent two years. He replaced Bruce Thomas, who served as superintendent less than one year.