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Toledo confirms Rust as next Superintendent

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Chris Rust, who has officially been approved as the next superintendent of the Toledo School District.

Chris Rust has been officially confirmed as the next superintendent of the Toledo School District after the School Board approved a contract for his employment Thursday night.

Currently principal of Warden High School, Rust will begin his superintendency July 1 and told Town Crier his priority will be to continue learning about the community and the district.

"The most important thing is getting to know everyone and getting to know what the Toledo way is and just becoming part of the community," he said Thursday after the board unanimously approved his contract, stating he is aware of current district goals to improve facilities and infrastructure, as well as strengthen student achievement in all three schools.

Rust was first offered the position of superintendent after being selected by the board April 3 from among five candidates, with board Chair Heidi Buswell stating Rust stood out because of consistently-positive feedback given by students, staff and community members. The board had been searching for a new superintendent since last November after Superintendent Sharon Bower declared her intent to resign as of June 30.

During Thursday's meeting, Bower stated, after spending time meeting with Rust, she feels confident in the board's decision, saying, "I can tell you you're going to be in good hands."

When asked if he will be intending to live within the Toledo area, Rust said he is already looking at local residences, stating, "In order for me to feel like I do my best work, I have to live in the community that I serve."

Rust also said, as principal of Warden High School, he feels his experience there will help Toledo High School achieve some of its larger goals for the near future, such as adjusting to new 24-credit graduation requirements and offering a greater number of college-level classes.

"When our kids have to spend time out of the school day traveling to community college to take courses, they miss out on instructional time," he said, stating he has had experience partnering with Big Ben Community College to offer advanced math courses at Warden High School. "What I'm trying to do in Warden, and I realize you're working on here, is maximizing the instructional time and having the kids stay right here in the community and be able to get those college credits while they're doing it."

He added, in regard to his leadership of the district overall, he feels his experience administrating in small districts will help ease him into his new position.

Rust's current contract for superintendent will last three years, in accordance with state policy, with the board exercising their option to regularly renew the contract after that time.

According to the contract, Rust's beginning salary will be $112,000 per year, roughly $10,000 greater than the salary defined in Bower's contract.

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