East Palestine superintendent gets 3-year pact with MCESC

By Amanda Tonoli


Mahoning County Educational Service Center’s board has named a top East Palestine educator to fill outgoing Superintendent Ron Iarussi’s position.

Traci Hostetler, East Palestine schools superintendent, has a three-year contract ending July 31, 2021, at an annual salary of $125,000.

“I’m eager to serve the kids in the Valley,” Hostetler said. “This is a position where I can reach the most kids – reach more than ever before.”

The MCESC serves 22 school districts and nearly 46,000 children in Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage and Trumbull counties, according to its website.

Hostetler said others who had applied for the job were really strong and incredibly worthy candidates.

Outgoing superintendent Iarussi was in the first of a five-year contract with $135,000 annual salary. He is leaving to serve at Marion County schools on a five-year contract at $159,000 annual salary.

Iarussi said he got to watch Hostetler grow professionally from her principalship at Canfield Village Middle School to her superintendent position in East Palestine.

“I am happy to hand the ball off to Traci because I know she’s going to do a great job,” he said. “I’m happy to help her in any way I can, and I’ll always be here.”

After a nerve-wracking wait, Hostetler said she was going to treat herself to a “Traci Blizzard” from Dairy Queen – made of ice cream and double the Snickers, Butterfingers and Reese’s Pieces.

She also served as the director of teaching and learning for the Massillon City School District and middle-school principal at the Canfield Local School District. Hostetler earned her bachelor’s at Kent State University, a master’s in Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Superintendent’s License from Ashland University.

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