James Gunner has been chosen to lead Perkins Schools into the future.
Gunner, superintendent of Bryan City Schools, attended Wednesday’s board of education meeting with his family.
He was granted a three-year, $104,500 contract starting Aug. 1.
“On behalf of the board we are very excited to have Mr. Gunner here today,” board president Brian Printy said. “I’m proud to say we really have done our homework on this and are certain Mr. Gunner will bring exactly what we need to our community.”
Board members said Gunner was a front-runner among the candidates due to his experience as a technology coordinator and his drive for academic excellence. He moved the Bryan district, which is very similar to Perkins, up the academic ladder.
“From early on he just really stood out to us,” board vice president Steve Schuster said. “Especially the fact he was able to take a school district from continuous improvement to excellent in the course of six years. That’s just amazing. We unanimously felt good about him.”
Gunner said he had been searching for a perfect “fit” for his family, and he is eager to relocate and jump into his duties.
“It has been a long process in terms of my searching for new opportunities for myself and my family,” he said. “I immediately felt a comfort level with all of you, and I knew the challenges the district faces would fit naturally with my strengths. I can’t wait to get here.”
Gunner said he is no stranger to Jarod’s Law, which was adopted to promote the health, safety and well-being of all students after a young Ohio child was crushed by a cafeteria table.
“I am familiar with Jarod’s Law and my wife is a sanitarian, so if we need any more help, she’s here,” he said.
The district’s buildings, grounds and maintenance supervisor, Greg Linkenbach, also addressed the board on this issue.
Linkenbach attended a training session in Sandusky County and learned what those inspecting the buildings would be looking for and what should be worked on prior to the inspections.
The board also heard from Honeywell representatives who have been working with the district to determine energy cost savings.
After reviewing documents, Honeywell determined the district could save an estimated $2.9 million in the course of 15 years if they finance at least $1.9 million to make improvements already outlined in the district’s strategic plan.
The board voted to move to the next step, which will be submitting Honeywell’s findings to the state to see what funding the district is eligible to receive.