The Olentangy board of education selected Wade Lucas as its new superintendent last week.

The Olentangy board of education selected Wade Lucas as its new superintendent last week.

Lucas, 48, has been superintendent of Green Local Schools in Green, Ohio, in Summit County. The particulars of his contract with Olentangy -- including starting date, salary and benefits -- have not yet been finalized, he said.

"I'm looking forward to starting," Lucas said. "With the performance that is evidenced on the (state) report card, it shows that priority for education is extremely high at Olentangy and that's a great thing."

He said he expects to be in Olentangy full time by February or March, but the transition processes for both districts are being worked out. He also plans to attend Olentangy's weekend activities to start meeting people. The district will schedule a "meet the new superintendent" event.

"I will get there as quickly as I can and when I get there it will be 'hit the ground running,'" Lucas said.

Lucas has been the Green Local superintendent since April 2007 and was superintendent at Coshocton City Schools from 2001 to 2007. He earlier was an assistant principal, athletic director and elementary school teacher, mostly at Coshocton.

Lucas was one of two final candidates interviewed last week by select community members, the media and the board of education. The other finalist, Dean Wittwer, is superintendent of Findlay City Schools in Findlay.

The search process was criticized for its secrecy until the final two candidates were identified.

Neither Lucas nor Wittwer applied for the position; they were sought out by board member Dimon McFerson, who conducted the search.

Both Lucas and Wittwer said they had no concerns about the closed aspect of the process.

"When you're down to the final two it has to be out there," Wittwer said. "It was their process and I agreed with it. There has to be discretion because only one person gets the position. This (need to know) only seems to happen with superintendents. It doesn't happen in the business world."

Wittwer said he was "very impressed" with the search process and with what he saw of the Olentangy school district and its board.

"I congratulate Wade for getting the job," Wittwer said. "I'm very flattered that they invited me to talk with them. It's a great school district with a lot of good things happening."

The board vote for Lucas was unanimous, a press release said.

"Wade is a dynamic individual with strong community engagement and educational leadership skills," board president Scott Galloway said in a press release. "Throughout his career, he has created exciting learning environments that motivate students and raise expectations. He is an excellent choice to continue the great work that has already been started at Olentangy to facilitate maximum learning for every student."

With Green Local, Lucas' annual salary is $121,334, district treasurer Roy Swartz said in an e-mail.

"(Lucas) is eligible for an annual bonus of up to 4 percent. ... Dr. Lucas does not contribute towards his health care premium," Swartz said

Lucas holds a bachelor's degree in education from Ohio University; a master's degree in education from Ashland University and an educational doctorate in educational administration from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com