Calvin DeKuiper was named the top choice out of nine candidates earlier this month. He met with the public in mid-November, and was the school board's unanimous choice following a final interview Thursday.
"The community feedback was overwhelmingly positive," Zeeland school board President Tom DenHerder said. "I am confident Cal will be a fantastic leader for our district and his family a welcome addition to the Zeeland community."
DeKuiper has spent eight years as Ludington's superintendent and 12 years as a high school assistant principal in the district. He was also a science teacher and athletic director in Greenville for several years.
Interim Superintendent Gary Feenstra will spend several months mentoring DeKuiper when he begins work in January.
Feenstra had been Zeeland's superintendent before retiring in 2011. He went back to work as interim chief following the July resignation of David Barry, who left the superintendent's post after one year. Barry had completed a suspension following his admission of plagiarism.