Canaan names new principal

Matt Keller

Marysville resident Matt Keller is the new principal of Canaan Middle School, following action by the Jonathan Alder Board of Education on Wednesday, June 24.

Keller replaces veteran administrator Jamie Pund who resigned in the spring.

Keller comes to Canaan from Worthington City Schools where he served as principal of Wilson Hill Elementary in 2013 and 2014. Prior to that tenure, he was principal of Laura Woodward Elementary in Delaware.

“Mr. Keller has extensive experience in educational leadership and we are excited about what he will bring to Canaan Middle School and the Jonathan Alder Local School District,” said Superintendent Gary Chapman in a prepared statement.

Keller holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a master’s degree in administration from the University of Cincinnati.

Chapman said his office received 35 applications for the Canaan position. He narrowed that list to nine for face-to-face interviews. A committee made up of district administrators, teachers and a parent representative interviewed four finalists before selecting Keller to fill the post.

Also on Wednesday, school board members appointed Amy Pawloski to the Plain City Public Library Board of Trustees. Pawloski replaces Barbara George.

The board also approved a resolution in support of a 1.5 mill replacement levy for library operations. The issue will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Pawloski said passage of the levy will enable the library to expand services to currently under-served communities such as Plumwood.

In other routine meeting business on Wednesday, board members:

• Re-instated 10 co-curricular positions that were abolished two years ago as a cost-saving measure. Those jobs included assistant marching band director, assistant junior high school football coach and assistant coaches for a variety of high school sports. Chapman said none of the positions are currently filled.

• Renewed a $1,500-per-month lease with The Vineyard Church for the former Plain City Elementary building at 340 W. Main St. in the village.

• Agreed to lease a portion of the former elementary school to the Union County YMCA for a latchkey program. The organization will pay no rent, but agreed to perform maintenance on the rooms.

• Renewed an agreement with Memorial Hospital of Union County for athletic services. In exchange for promotion at school athletic events, the hospital pays the district $20,000 annually for equipment and provides the services of a sports trainer.

• Scheduled an overnight lock-in for the high school volleyball team for July 31-Aug. 1.

• Recognized retiring high school principal Phil Harris for his 35 years of service to the district. Harris encouraged board members to “keep the focus on kids and keep fighting the good fight.” His comments drew a standing ovation from those in attendance.

Jane Beathard is a contributing writer for the Advocate.