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ST. MARYS — St. Marys will have a new superintendent, as board members approved the hiring of Shawn Brown during their meeting Wednesday evening.
Members of the St. Marys Board of Education approved Brown, a principal with Spencerville schools, to a three-year contract effective Aug. 1 through July 31, 2015. Brown said he has been in education for approximately 20 years.
“I started at Lima City Schools, I taught in the middle school,” he said. “I got promoted to assistant principal there I think after about six years of teaching.”
After spending half a year as the assistant principal at the middle school, Brown noted he was moved up to the high school as an associate principal.
“That following summer, the position came open for a high school principal at Spencerville, and my wife is from there and we’ve actually lived in the district, so I applied for that and they accepted me,” he said, noting he has been with Spencerville for 12 years.
“Now I’m looking for the opportunity to be here in St. Marys.”
The Shawnee native noted proximity was one of the factors that attracted him to the St. Marys position.
“I’m familiar with the area, I’m familiar with the WBL,” Brown said. “We’re 15 minutes up the road, but really all of our correspondence has been up north to Lima or Delphos, but I knew enough about St. Marys. I know it’s a great community and I know it’s a great school system that I thought this was an opportunity where I could kind of spread my wings and see what I could do here.”
Brown noted he would like to be accessible to the community.
“I hope to bring an open door,” he said. “I want to be visual, I want to be progressive, I want to be open.”
Brown said he will sit back and learn as he goes into the position before he makes any significant changes in the district.
“What I think I want to do the first year is just kind of sit back and see how things are rolling,” he said. “St. Marys is doing things right now. There’s always room for improvement, I’m not sure what that improvement is at this time. I’m hoping after six months to a year I can maybe pose my thoughts of things I think we could do a little bit differing.”
Currently, Brown, 46, lives in Spencerville with his wife Kandace. He has two daughters, Lyndie, 21, and Alexa, 18, and a son, Dominic, 14. He said he is planning to move to St. Marys.
“As soon as I get my house sold, I am eager to move to the district,” Brown said, noting he recently attended open houses in the area.
Board members Lisa Tobin and Ralph Wiley told The Evening Leader they are optimistic about Brown’s appointment and welcome him to the St. Marys City Schools.
“We’re excited to have Shawn in the district,” Wiley said.
“He has a great personality,” Tobin added.
One of the factors Wiley noted was Brown’s longevity.
“He has longevity in the districts he served,” Wiley said, noting he came recommended. “He’s been with two other districts, and he’s been there a long time.”
Tobin added they believe Brown will do well as the district’s superintendent.
“He has high expectations, and I think he will continue to shine and excel in our district,” she said.