New superintendent poised for new school year at United Local
HANOVERTON — When school at United Local begins for students on Aug. 28, a new superintendent will be welcoming them.
Lance Hostetler, who has served the past five years as Columbiana High School principal, has taken over the reins at United, his first time at the helm of a district.
And he will draw upon the support of not only his peers and colleagues, but also someone a little closer to home — his wife Traci, the superintendent at East Palestine.
“Administration has always been intriguing to me,” Hostetler said. “As a coach (he served as head football coach at Edgewood High School in Ashtabula for 10 years prior to moving to Columbiana), I was always involved with the administrations. So moving into administration seemed logical.”
Having a wife with whom to share ideas and experience first hand the role of a superintendent, Hostetler said he was drawn to superintendency by a desire to help other people.
“It’s the greatest role in education,” he explained. “It gives you opportunity to see all facets of what’s going on, gives you chance to help others reach their goals.”
In an effort to helping others reach their goals, Hostetler spent time prior to searching for a superintendency job formulating his own goals, what he expects to accomplish as the district’s leader. With the help of other superintendents, he identified three major goals — improve student achievement, be fiscally accountable and build the trust and accessibility with the community.
“I kept those three goals in mind while looking for a job and found United to be a great fit,” he said. “There’s good student achievement, the former and current administration and school board has been financially accountable and the community seems to be interactive and want to reach out to make the best for the kids.”
Having worked in education in both rural and city districts — he spent time at Washington Massillon and (Canton) Glen Oak high schools in addition to Columbiana and Buckeye Local — Hostetler said despite the differences, one aspect remains the same: helping kids attain their goals.
“No matter the district, sitting down and talking is always the same; communication is key,” he said. “You spend time looking at what the students’ needs are and develop a ‘true north.’ Any decision based on the students’ needs… you can’t make bad decisions.”
Hostetler also noted that every place is unique in its own way, and United is not different in that aspect.
“I’m amazed already by the people reaching out to help me, having a positive attitude toward the district,” he said. “I’d heard that school is the center of the community and I want to build on that.”