ANGOLA — The Metropolitan School District of Steuben County announced in a news release that it has selected a candidate for its open superintendent position, Matt Widenhoefer.

Widenhoefer is currently the principal at Heritage Junior Senior High School in East Allen County Schools and has 17 years of leadership experience in the district.

Cory Archbold, president of the MSD Board of Trustees, said the district received many strong applicants, but that Widenhoefer brought a superior set of technical skills as well as an exceptional set of people skills to the position.

Widenhoefer said he is extremely excited to join and lead such an exceptional school district as MSD of Steuben County.

He completed his bachelor and master degrees at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne and received his doctorate from Indiana State University.

The school district currently has the superintendent’s contract posted online and will have a public hearing on it on Monday at 5 p.m. in the boardroom of the F.K. McCutchan Administrative Center, 400 S. Martha St.

The district anticipates Widenhoefer’s start date to be around Oct. 15. A statutory timeline has to be followed before Widenhoefer can be formally hired.

The eventual hiring of Widenhoefer brings to an apparent end a years-long saga in which the MSD parted ways with 15-year veteran Superintendent Brent Wilson on June 30.

Wilson left the district after a protracted legal battle with the MSD board. In a case in Steuben Superior Court, Wilson alleged the school board breached his contract. The case was first filed in March 2020 and has dragged on ever since, creating headlines many in the MSD community have found uncomfortable and injurious to the school system.

Wilson, alleged breach of contract after the board voted in August 2016 to remove an automatic rollover provision that previously provided Wilson with essentially a never-ending five-year contract.

A settlement between the board and Wilson was reached in May. The case was set to go to trial on July 27.

The settlement paid Wilson two stipends, one for $271,019.50 and a second, for $200,000.

In addition, Wilson was to receive $146,459 in accrued personal or sick pay. He had banked 260 days of personal time over the last 15 years.

Wilson and his wife and any dependents in the family will have their insurance paid in full until the time Wilson reaches Medicare eligibility in March 2029. He also will receive vision and dental insurance.

Based on 2021 costs and not any future increases in premiums, Wilson’s insurance will cost MSD $229,880 for the most expensive of four health insurance plans offered currently by the district. A retirement contribution of about $52,000 was also to be paid.

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