West York Area School District's assistant superintendent will be moving across the river to lead a school district in Lancaster County.

Carol Powell will begin as superintendent of the Columbia Borough School District July 1.

Powell was appointed with a three-year contract and $115,000 starting salary by Columbia's school board in March, according to school board documents.

Powell had been looking for a good fit over the last year, said West York superintendent Emilie Lonardi.

"I think she'll do a terrific job," Lonardi said. "I think the timing's right."

Powell was unanimously chosen as the right person to lead Columbia's school district, said acting superintendent Kenneth Klawitter. He was the superintendent of the district from 1999 until 2006 when he retired; he stepped in as acting superintendent when the position was unexpectedly left vacant.

Klawitter said he was asked to assist with the superintendent search as part of his position this year.

Out of 17 applicants, Powell's educational qualifications and personality fit the best with the district's needs, Klawitter said. She also has the work ethic, professionalism and communication skills necessary for the job, he added.

"After a long, cold winter, Dr. Powell is going to be a ray of sunshine," Klawitter said.

The Columbia district has an enrollment of about 1,360 students and three school buildings, according to the state's Department of Education.

Lonardi said she hasn't had the chance to speak with the school board about the process for replacing Powell, but will do so within the coming weeks.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.