ILWACO, Wash. - Dr. Paul Prevenas will be the new superintendent of the Ocean Beach School District. The school board chose Prevenas Saturday evening from a shortlist of finalists for the position.

"Paul had outstanding credentials and experience as a superintendent and was very professional. We all felt he was the most qualified and was a good match for us," said school board member Kim Patten this morning.

Prevenas has been an educator for 30 years and was the only one of the finalists with a Ph.D. degree. For the past two years, he has been an elementary principal at Kamehameha Schools in Haiku, Hawaii. Prior to that, he was superintendent of schools in Oregon's Brookings-Harbor School District from 1996 to 2003. A 1973 graduate of Northern Illinois University, Prevenas received master's degree in elementary education there in 1974.

He later did graduate work at the University of Hawaii and the University of Oregon, then earned his doctorate in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin in 1994.

Prevenas succeeds Tom Lockyer, who is leaving after three years to lead the White River School District in Western Washington.

Patten said Prevenas had worked in school districts similar to Ocean Beach and wanted to move back to the Oregon or Washington coasts. And he said Prevenas knew what needs to get done and has the background and experience to accomplish it.

"We want to continue in the direction we've been going, and stay on track for school improvement and construction," Patten explained.

Prevenas will take over as superintendent the first week of July. His salary is still being negotiated.

"We're happy we got someone with his qualifications. We're pretty excited about it," Patten said.