VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Rob O’Leary as its next Superintendent on Monday evening.
O’Leary will succeed Superintendent Bradley Neavin when he retires at the end of July.
“I am certainly glad this day has arrived,” said Board of Education President Bob Cupp. “When (Superintendent) Brad (Neavin) first got here he talked about leadership and how important it is to identify leaders for that time comes when you need them. He realized right away that Rob was a good leader and had all the skills necessary. He has mentored him since day one.”
The vote by the Board was anticipated since O’Leary was named Assistant Superintendent on April 25 just days after Neavin announced his retirement.
“I have heartfelt gratitude,” said O’Leary. “This community has been great to me from the time I stepped into the district as a teacher. It has been home to me in my professional career. I’ve grown so much with them and forged so many great relationships. I’m looking forward to taking this next step and continuing the positive momentum.”
Continuity and familiarity with the district were a driving force in O’Leary’s hire.
“Continuity was very, very important (to the Board),” said Cupp. “We certainly didn’t want to bring in an outsider with a levy coming up. Rob has been very instrumental in developing the strategic plan. He is well prepared for the job and we’ve not received one negative comment about Rob becoming the Superintendent. It is a win-win for him and the district, just a really good fit.”
“This is an incredibly smart move by the Board,” said retiring Superintendent Bradley Neavin. “Continuing that leadership with someone who understands the district, has their feet on the ground running, and knows all the players is smart. He will have to prove himself – he’s the new guy. But he’s in a place where he can start to establish his leadership without being in the middle of a crisis.”
O’Leary has been in the Vandalia-Butler school district for 13 of his 18 year career in eduction. His first position was that of Facilities Management and Construction Officer. He was named the Director of Pupil Services in 2013 and served in that role until being appointed the Assistant Superintendent.
He has also been a teacher, principal, and the Curriculum Specialist/Title I Coordinator before a two year stint as the Director of Curriculum at the Upper Valley JVS from 2009-2011.
O’Leary holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree from Wright State University.
“I have never met an administrator that has a broader spectrum of experience than Rob does,” said Neavin. “He has building-level experience, teaching experience, coaching experience, has managed construction projects, and been highly involved in human resources. He’s been involved in transportation, helped us with our problems with First Student, and has experience in Special Education. With that experience with students, staff, and administration he is in a great position, and he’s just a great guy. People really respect him.”
The Board of Education approved a 2-year contract with O’Leary that runs through July 31, 2019. O’Leary will be paid $138,000 per year. The district will pay 85% of health insurance premiums with O’Leary paying the rest – the same as other district staff.
Other benefits include a $400,000 life insurance paid by the school district, a $1,000 per year mobile phone stipend, and a car allowance of $400 per month. Mileage will not be reimbursed for travel inside the state of Ohio.
O’Leary will assume his new position on August 1.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.