The Wausau School District approved a contract for the new Superintendent Monday night.
Dr. Keith Hilts, former Ashland County Superintendent, accepted the job last week but Monday the contract was on the agenda for approval.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know the community, getting to know the people here," Dr. Hilts said.
Hilts was one of two candidates who met behind closed doors with the Wausau School Board last week.
He received criticism during his time in Ashland County when a teacher posted comments regarding a deputy who shot and killed 14-year-old Jason Pero one month prior, which Hilts considered inflammatory and defamatory.
Hilts placed the elementary school teacher on paid administration leave but later reinstated her.
"The racial tensions in Ashland have been historic and the only way I know of to alleviate those kinds of issues is to go out and talk to people, work alongside them, it builds trust and that's what we were able to do and I don't see why we can't do the same thing here in Wausau," Dr. Hilts said.
Wausau School board said Hilts is just the right fit for what they were looking for.
"Issues are going to come up, there's going to be controversies, everything won't be smooth all the time, what's important is how we react to it when that happens and how we learn from it," Wausau School District President, Lance Trollop said. "The board was confident in Dr. Hilts and we believe that moving forward he's going to be a great fit."
Hilts has 18 years of administrative experience in Random Lake and Grafton districts, as well as his time spent in Ashland County.
The starting salary for Dr. Hilts is $170,000, according to the Wausau School Board.
His first day as Wausau's Superintendent will be July 1.