POTOMAC — A veteran area school administrator has been hired to lead Potomac Grade School as superintendent/principal.

Larry Maynard, a former administrator in Rantoul and former coach/teacher in Paxton, was tapped by the Potomac Grade School board to succeed Jamie Dorsey.

Dorsey is retiring after 17 years as superintendent/principal at Potomac.

Maynard is currently serving as principal at Hoopeston Area High School — a position he has held for the past 10 years.

A resident of Paxton, Maynard said several things attracted him to apply for the post, among them the proximity to his home, the quality of the school district and the type of people he will be working with.

Maynard’s wife, Tracy, is wellness director at the Gibson Area Hospital clinic in Paxton.

"We were hoping we wouldn’t have to relocate in the near future," Larry Maynard said. "Being in Vermilion County, I’ve had an opportunity to be around a lot of the superintendents and principals (in the county). I was familiar with Potomac. I knew this was a very good school district."

Maynard said when he went through the interview process and had a chance to meet the people involved with the school, he was impressed by Dorsey "and the foundation she has laid there. And just listening to her talk about the people, staff and students and the strong board of education there, I really felt this might be a great opportunity."

Maynard said school board President Vance Hambleton told him the school, staff and board are a family, and that was something Maynard was looking for, being part of that type of culture.

"With the state finances, you are being entrusted with the two more important things a community has — their children and their finances," Maynard said. "That is a very serious responsibility."

Maynard said he is sure he has a lot to learn, being in his first superintendent’s job.

Dorsey said Maynard was selected from among 20 applicants for the position.

A graduate of Dwight High School, Maynard attended Joliet Junior College, where he studied education and played football, then transferred to Millikin University, where he continued to study education and played on the football team. Maynard was hired as a graduate assistant at Illinois Wesleyan University, coaching football and track. It was there that he met his wife, who coached the women’s volleyball and track and field teams.

Maynard worked on his master’s degree in sports administration at Illinois State University and was hired at Normal Community High School as a teacher and coach, after which he went to Eureka High School as head football coach and dean of students. He also did some athletic director duties there.

After three years at Eureka, Maynard was hired as teacher and head football coach at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School and later become a teacher and assistant football coach at Rantoul Township High School. After one year, he was named head football coach at RTHS and coached track.

Maynard went back to school to earn his master’s degree in education administration at Eastern Illinois University with the goal to become a principal. During that time he was offered a job at Judah Christian School, in Champaign, where he served as principal.

RTHS then came calling and offered him the position of dean of students and assistant principal — serving in that role for three years.

"I had a good experience at Rantoul High. I just enjoyed the staff, students and administration," Maynard said.

He then took the job as principal at Hoopeston Area High School, where he has been for the last 10 years. Maynard earned his superintendency endorsements from Eastern Illinois University in 2014 at an academy offered through the Illinois Association of School Administrators.

"That was when I really wanted to start thinking about taking the next step toward the superintendency if I could find the right fit," Maynard said.

The Maynards have two daughters — Jori and Kellyn.