Lakota School Board unanimously votes Mantia as superintendent
Dr. Karen Mantia, New Lakota Local School District
WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) -
The Lakota School District's 7th Superintendent was formally introduced to teachers, parents and staff Thursday afternoon. Dr. Karen Mantia says she plans on making her rounds in the community to keep a pulse on the most pressing issues effecting the district.
"I do need to sit down with the board of education, and the staff and the community to talk about what the high priority concerns will be to them," Mantia said.
In a district that's recently cut nearly $10 million from the budget, as well as busing and other programs, Mantia says managing the district's finances will be first on her list.
"First understanding what those money issues are, I think that's the first thing, to take a look at the budget, talk to some of the community members, find out what it looks like in terms of efficiencies and then we'll move from there," Mantia said.
Mantia holds a doctorate degree in education, and started out as a high school Social Studies teacher in Clayton, Ohio before climbing the ranks to become Superintendent of Sycamore Schools, then the Piqua district and most recently was superintendent in the Pickerington district.
"I think that's important to bring a different look from different schools," Mantia said.
Lakota parents Kelly Casper and Jodi Krusling who met the new superintendent, say as members of last year's levy committee, they hope Mantia's experience will help turn the district around after the failed levy in November.
"We're glad that it's done and we're glad that we have someone in place before the next school year, and that she can start with the business of getting us out of our financial crisis and back on track," Casper said.
"I think that anyone who can do a great job right now, that's what's important," Krusling said.
Mantia was recently awarded the 2011 Ohio Superintendent Outstanding Performance award and according to the district's website, voters in the Pickerington district will face a 5.5 mill operating levy in August. Mantia's annual salary is $165,000.