The search is over

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Easterling named new superintendent


COAL GROVE — When former Dawson-Bryant superintendent George York announced his retirement in June less than one year into a three-year contract the board of education immediately began the search for his replacement.

One of the 14 applicants for the position was Dawson-Bryant High School principal Steve Easterling and at a special board meeting this past week the board of education voted 5-0 to hire Easterling as the district’s second superintendent in two years.

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“I’m excited,” Easterling said as he cleaned out his office at the high school. “I’m looking forward to being in this position. We have good employees here at Dawson-Bryant and I look forward to continuing working with them in a different capacity.”

Easterling’s hiring as superintendent created a vacancy in the Dawson-Bryant High School principal’s position, but he said the intent is to hire someone “pretty quickly” since school begins on Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Easterling graduated from Dawson-Bryant in 1970 and received his bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio University in 1974. He then earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Marshall University in 1986. From 1988 to 1994 he was principal of Dawson-Bryant Intermediate before serving as principal of Monitor Primary School in Coal Grove in 1995 and 1996. He became principal of Dawson-Bryant Elementary in 1996 and served in that role until becoming the high school principal in 1999.

During his time as Dawson-Bryant High School principal the school has garnered numerous awards and distinctions and has twice received a rating of “excellent” by the State of Ohio.

Dr. James Payne of the Lawrence County Board of Education acted as interim superintendent for the few days the position was vacant and Easterling praised Payne as well as the community.

“Dr. Payne has given me lots of help and good advice,” Easterling said. “The community is also so supportive of the schools and that is a great thing to have. I plan to reach out to the community for their continued support.”

No changes are imminent, Easterling said, but he does have a plan in place.

“My goal is to make Dawson-Bryant the best possible school district it can be,” he said, “and I plan to build on past successes.”