DILLIONVALE, Ohio (WTRF) Coy Sudvary’s career will come full circle as he returns as the new superintendent of Buckeye Local Schools this summer.

Sudvary, of Steubenville, was formally approved during the monthly school board meeting on Monday. The onetime teacher and principal at Buckeye Local High School was given a one-year contract from Aug. 1, 2023, to July 31, 2024, and will succeed interim superintendent Scott Celestin in the role.

Board President Ashley West said a pool of four candidates had been interviewed and the board concluded the process during a special meeting on Friday.

“The board is delighted to see the excitement, energy and intelligence that Coy has shown through the interview process,” said West. “We hope to see Panther Pride continue to grow under his leadership.”

Officials say the search began last fall and the board conducted open meetings with stakeholders to gather information on the type of person they sought for the position. West, who then served as board vice president, was appointed along with then-President Teresa George to helm the search committee with guidance from Jefferson County Educational Service Center Superintendent Dr. Chuck Kokiko. West said they ultimately chose Sudvary in a unanimous decision.

“We were looking for someone who had the passion, drive, intelligence and ability to run the district effectively and fairly, a strong leader who values and respects everyone in the district while still holding each person accountable, a person who will encourage the best from our staff and students and lead the district into the future, which is looking very bright,” she continued. “We would like to see Buckeye Local continue to grow and improve in all areas. We have been putting a strong focus on increasing safety and have made many upgrades through grants, donations and also district funds. I would like to see a strong focus on academics and trying to educate our students in the most productive ways possible to help each of our students reach their highest potential.”

She thanked everyone who shared their views and input throughout the search, as well as Dr. Kokiko for his involvement.

“We want to extend sincere appreciation to all of the amazing employees of the district for their dedication and hard work,” she added. “The board would finally like to thank Scott Celestin for serving as interim superintendent during this time of healing for the district. We appreciate everything he has done for the staff and students of Buckeye Local.”

For Sudvary, Buckeye Local has played a major role in his life.

The Rayland native graduated from BLHS in 1995 and earned a history degree from Franciscan University, then he received his master’s in administration from Salem International University.

He was a student teacher and long-term substitute at Buckeye Local and then began teaching history at the high school in the Fall of 2001. From there, he served at Buckeye North Middle School and returned to BLHS, where he also coached junior high and varsity basketball plus junior high football and track and went on to become the assistant principal and principal.

During his tenure, BLHS was one of 163 schools to be designated as a School of Promise, improved and maintained successful test scores, raised math and reading scores for economically disadvantaged or learning-disabled students, gained grant funding for technology and more.

Sudvary also earned Principal of the Year honors from JCESC in 2018.

He left the district in May of 2019 to helm Wellsville Jr./Sr. High School, where he remained for four years and oversaw a building of 260 pupils in grades 8-12.

There, the school thrived with increased career-technical education and College Credit Plus opportunities, grants for technology and programs and training for teachers for Google 1 and 2 certifications, as well as a 3-D printer and an eSports program.

In addition, he and wife Jessica have raised their three daughters, Arabel, Leila and Sylvia.

He said he was looking forward to returning to Buckeye Local and working with community, staff, students and the district and to continue providing opportunities for educational growth while being fiscally responsible to taxpayers.

“I want to be visible as much as possible and evaluate where we are with the elementary schools [with programs and technology] and see what the needs are for the teachers and provide professional development,” Sudvary added. “With COVID, the technology was pushed quickly [for remote learning].”

He also hopes to review grants for funding opportunities and focus on programs and open enrollment, among other areas. In the meantime, he planned to take the summer and learn the ropes from Celestin, whom he thanked for leading the district over the past few years. Then he will take on the role Aug. 1.

“I’m very excited and it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I appreciate the support from the board. It’s great that I have knowledge of the community, of students and the staff. I’ve been a principal for 15 years and was ready to do something different. I was ready to come back and the board was receptive and supportive. The ESC has also been very supportive and I hope to continue working with Dr. Kokiko. I’m looking forward to the challenge, and I want to build and create a place people can be proud of. What better place than where I grew up?”