The Oregon school board last Wednesday accepted the resignation of Loren Dirr, Clay High School principal.
Dirr, who spent 34 years in the district, is retiring. His resignation becomes effective Aug. 1.
Dirr held various positions, such as teacher, high school athletic director, middle school principal, and 13 years as assistant principal at Clay.
Board President Jeff Ziviski said he was sorry to see Dirr go.
“Loren has been a tremendous asset for our district. He is taking with him a wealth of knowledge and experience,” said Ziviski.
Dirr replaced Mike Zalar as principal last year when Zalar was hired as the district’s new superintendent.
The board hired Dirr as principal last August, knowing he would only commit to one year or less. The board had preferred someone with experience and who was already in the district.
“With Loren taking over for Mike at the high school, it was one less area that we needed to be concerned about. I wish him the best in his retirement. We will soon begin the process to find Loren’s successor,” said Ziviski.
The board will look internally as well as outside the district for qualified candidates to replace Dirr, said Ziviski.
“Loren did a fantastic job filling in for the short-term, and we were honored to have him, but I think we now need to look at a long-term replacement. It is my hope that the new principal will be here for many years,” said Ziviski.
Dirr was paid an annual salary of $111,772.
The board also approved the resignation of Jim Kanable, assistant superintendent, effective July 24.
Kanable, who was hired in the Oregon district in 2004, has accepted the superintendent’s position at the Liberty-Benton School District, where his annual salary will be $115,000.
“Jim gave the district five quality years and we knew it was only a matter of time before he was offered the opportunity to be a superintendent,” said Ziviski. “Liberty-Benton hired a quality educator to lead their district. The board is currently reviewing its options to get those responsibilities handled.”
Among the board’s options is to eliminate the assistant superintendent’s position and distribute the responsibilities among current staff, said Ziviski.
“In our current financial situation, we have to make some tough decisions, and if we can reduce salary and headcount and still deliver a quality product to our community, then we owe it to the community to do so.”
As recently as last year, the district had two assistant superintendents. When one left for a job at the Toledo Public Schools District a few months ago, Oregon eliminated the position and hired a business manager, which is more representative of the duties of that job, said Ziviski.
“If we decide not to fill this assistant superintendent position, then we will have eliminated both in a matter of a few months,” said Ziviski.
Also at the meeting, the board recognized Clay High School Counselor Dave Habegger for two recent honors, including his induction into the Ohio High School State Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame last November, and his appointment by Gov. Strickland as the newest member of the Owens Community College Board of Trustees Feb. 3. The board is comprised of seven individuals who are each appointed by the governor to six year terms. Harbegger’s term expires in 2014.
Habegger, 57, has worked for the Oregon School District for 36 years. He was president of the Oregon Federation of Teachers for two, two-year-terms. He and wife, Diane, to whom he has been married for 33 years, have one son and two daughters.
Habegger has a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Toledo and a bachelor’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University.
“Dave has a broad background in education and should provide a new prospective to the Owens Board,” said Ziviski. “His union background will be an advantage to him and he can draw on that experience now that he will be on the other side of the table. He will be a great asset to Oregon schools and the surrounding area. I wish him luck.”