Oakwood schools pick Kettering educator as new high school principal

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

A Kettering City Schools principal whose professional roots are in Oakwood has been named to lead Oakwood High School going forward.

Oakwood City Schools said Monday that the district has hired Van Buren Middle School Principal Matthew Salyer to replace Paul Waller. The district announced earlier this month that Waller had resigned after a four-month administrative paid leave.

Salyer confirmed the hiring in a message Monday.

Salyer brings 17 years of educational experience to the position, including three years in school administration, according to Oakwood.



“We are excited and proud to have Mr. Salyer joining our family at Oakwood,” said Superintendent Dr. Neil Gupta. “Matt embodies a student-centered approach to administration and possesses an unparalleled work ethic. His commitment to excellence and innovation in education is second to none, and we are confident that his leadership will be transformative for our school community.”

Salyer taught in Oakwood for 13 years and held several leadership positions, including department chair and head of the Oakwood Teachers Association Scholarship Committee, according to the district.

His start date as OHS principal will be Aug. 1, according to the district. Salyer was picked from 25 applicants, and his starting salary will be $125,000 a year, according to the district.

“I am immensely honored to return to Oakwood,” Salyer said in the Oakwood announcement. “I look forward to collaborating with our dedicated staff to serve our students and foster a supportive and innovative educational environment that nurtures academic and personal growth.”

Oakwood High School has frequently been ranked among the top high schools in Ohio, via state test scores as well as broader reviews by national publications.

Waller had been on paid leave since Feb. 2 amid an investigation after a theft at the high school.

The suspension ordered by Gupta followed a Jan. 23 theft involving a male student caught in a girls’ locker room stealing clothes, including undergarments, district records show.

Questions were raised later about what discipline Waller may have given the male student.

The separation agreement between Waller and Oakwood schools, obtained through a public records request, indicates “the parties agree to maintain the confidentiality of any investigative report by or for the district, as well as circumstances surrounding Waller’s separation from employment, subject to the requirements in Ohio’s Public Records Act.”

Waller did not submit a letter of resignation, according to the district.

In the announcement earlier this month, Oakwood officials said Waller will provide ongoing consulting services to the district upon request of the superintendent, “which will allow for a smooth transition of leadership at Oakwood High School.”

Waller was hired as principal in 2009. His salary as of Aug. 1, 2023 was $156,093, plus a $10,810 annuity, according to school district records.

The agreement will “continue Waller’s base salary through” Jan. 31, 2025 “at his current rate of pay,” the document states.

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