The Northwestern School District Board of Directors announced last week that John Hanson, Principal of James W. Parker Middle School in the General McLane School District, has been selected to be Northwestern’s new superintendent.
Hansen has given the board a verbal commitment to accept the position. The board will vote on his hiring at the meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March, 20, at Springfield Elementary School.
Hansen said he hopes to bring a very personal and collaborative approach, build strong relationships and make people feel that their opinion is important.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to get back working with teachers and administration to benefit the children,” said Hansen, who served as assistant principal at Northwestern High School from 2002 to 2005. “One of Northwestern’s great strengths is its faculty. I have a lot of respect for the work they do putting students first and going the extra mile.”
Hansen acknowledged Northwestern’s good financial position despite the uncertainty of state funding. That good standing is in large part due to the work of Business Manager Paul Sachar. Sachar has been the district’s business manager for more than 35 years and plans to retire in late 2017.
“As a smaller district, we’re limited with our resources,” Hansen said. “One big goal is to make the most out of the resources we have and to explore new ways to get other opportunities.”
Hansen has spent the last 31 years of his life in education. He’s been Principal at Parker Middle school for nine years. He started his career in 1986 at Cathedral Prep as a biology/earth science and space science teacher, and then worked at James S. Wilson school in Millcreek as a science teacher. Hansen served as principal at the Erie County Technical School from 2005 to 2008.
Hansen holds a masters degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He will finish the school year at Parker Middle School.
Because Hansen is coming to Northwestern during a great time of transition, he said he will be taking some weekend and evening time to be involved prior to his official start date on July 1.
In addition to Sachar, high school Principal Dan Shreve is retiring in June.
“All the candidates were good candidates, but John stood out,” board President Mark Swanson said. “This is what we need right now, and we have a lot on our plate.”