Elmwood’s AD will be new high school principal

JERRY CITY – Elmwood High School has a new high school principal, and he is no stranger to the district.

At its March 9 meeting, the school board approved the hiring of Ty Traxler, but two members voted to
abstain.
The motion passed 3-0.
Traxler is currently the middle school/high school assistant principal and high school athletic director.

He will start his new role Aug. 1. He was given a three-year contract and will be paid $80,300.
“Ty interviewed very well with staff,” said Superintendent Tony Borton, “and since then has started
one-on-one meetings at the high school.”
His goal is to meet every high school staff member individually “to discuss wants, needs, goods, bads and
where do we go from here,” Borton added.
Board members Melanie Davis and Debbie Reynolds both abstained from the vote, saying they were unhappy
with the process used to pick Traxler.
“I’m struggling here,” Reynolds said. “We’ve had a lot of discussion about this and I want to know … I
know the teachers met with him. I know there was no committee.
“I’ve never had a problem at all with the person … the person has always been top-notch in my view. But
the process, I’ve had a real hard time with this,” she said.
Borton said the administrative team typically interviews one to three candidates, narrows that to one,
and then takes that person to interview with the teachers.
“So if the teachers meet this person and are not in favor or have reservations?” Reynolds asked.
“They should share concerns, but again the teachers don’t have to hire and fire. I do. My administrative
staff leadership has to work with the (person), so I need a cohesive administrative team,” Borton said.

The district did not post the position once current Principal Tom Bentley announced his intent to retire.

Reynolds wanted to know if that process will continue with future hirings.
“When you have an internal candidate who is good, you promote them,” Borton said after the meeting.
The teachers interviewed Traxler, and as long as they liked him, Borton was satisfied.
“I didn’t interview enough candidates for those two to be satisfied,” he said about the concerns of
Reynolds and Davis.
“I too had asked for a process,” Davis said. “I feel like, in a way, I was ignored. I don’t have a
problem with the person … but I also asked for a process.”
Borton compared it to when the district searched for a middle school principal. There was no internal
interest and he ended up interviewing five or six candidates.
“In this case I had a definite candidate and he was interested so we went in that direction.”
Traxler has been with the district since 2000, teaching high school government for 15 years and spending
the last five as assistant principal and athletic director.
Borton explained there in no internal interest in either the assistant principal’s or athletic director’s
post and he is in the process of posting those jobs.
At the meeting, the board also accepted a number of donations:
• Royal Summer Baseball to Elmwood High School baseball: $4,467
• Cindy Stockwell to Elmwood High School wrestling: $100
• St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Women’s Group to to the cafeteria for school lunch debt: $500
• Elmwood Athletic Boosters to the Elmwood Athletic Department: $12,011.39
This donation is for a new castle, weight room equipment, yearly uniform allotment, pole vault standards,
baseball pitching machine and indoor rollaway track training mat.
• Danilda Lee to the Elmwood Elementary library for a book donation in honor of Ryan and Cora Lee: $100

The board also will continue its interdistrict enrollment policy for the 2020-21 school year with no
changes; continued its partnership with the Wood County Sheriff’s Office to place a school resource
officer in the district full time at a cost of $6,000 and contracted for two additional hours for
deputies to be in the building before school and after school at a cost of $30 per hour; and hired
Ginger Curtis as a fifth-grade teacher and Pamela Frankforther as a reading intervention specialist.