PAXTON — Travis Duley was hired as the next principal at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School.
Duley, who has taught business courses since 2002 at PBL, was among three finalists interviewed by the school board during a five-hour closed session Saturday. Thirty-five people applied for the job, which was vacated Dec. 31 by the resignation of Trent Eshleman.
Duley will begin his new duties March 1. The school board initially had planned for the next principal to start July 1.
"Mr. Duley's passion for the PBL school district and the surrounding communities was evident," Superintendent Cliff McClure said. "The board also noted that Duley's service as a member on both the high school and district's Rising Star improvement teams, as a member of the teacher evaluation team committee, and as the current president of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda Education Association were valuable experiences that would help him as he begins his administrative career at PBL. The board also agreed with Mr. Duley's vision to lead PBL High School."
Duley served as head coach of PBL's varsity girls' basketball team from 2006-12.
He will be paid $84,000 for the 2014-15 school year and $23,315 for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year.
Until March 1, the duties that Eshleman "either did solely or shared" with other administrators at the high school are being "split up" between current administrators in the district, McClure said.
Eshleman, who had served as principal of the high school since July 1, 2010, resigned to pursue ownership and operations of Denny's Sporting Goods in Onarga.