Superintendent Mike Johnson is expected to recommend the hiring of Bexley Middle School principal Harley Williams as the new principal at Bexley High School.

Superintendent Mike Johnson is expected to recommend the hiring of Bexley Middle School principal Harley Williams as the new principal at Bexley High School.

The district announced June 15 that John Kellogg would be leaving the district to serve as executive director of high schools in South-Western City Schools.

Johnson said he will recommend to Bexley City Schools' board of education that Williams serve as principal of secondary schools - the middle and high school. His plan includes hiring an assistant middle school principal, he said.

Johnson said Williams will focus on helping students transition from middle school to high school, align middle school and high school curriculum and provide opportunities for students to gain credit in middle school for high school graduation.

Johnson said Ohio House Bill 1 includes numerous requirements for preparing middle school students for high school and changes the way students demonstrate what they have learned in order to graduate from high school.

The board of education is expected to discuss the recommendation during its June 28 meeting at 6:30 p.m.Williams makes $111,500 in salary as high school principal and could make $123,000 per year if the board accepts Johnson's proposal. These figures don't include benefits.

Johnson said that according to five-year forecast numbers, the district is set to save about $100,000 by naming Williams director of secondary schools and hiring a middle school assistant principal.

Johnson said having Williams serve as principal for both the middle school and high school also makes sense given the short time the district has to find Kellogg's replacement.

School board president Joan Fishel said she agrees with the decision to name Williams director of secondary schools, adding the school board hasn't had an opportunity to discuss the proposal.

"I think it is an exciting opportunity for the district," she said. "I think that Harley is a truly gifted administrator and innovator. I am excited by the prospect of seeing this move forward."

Williams is excited about serving as principal of both the middle and high school. He said it makes sense to align the educational practices of both schools while maintaining appropriate development of students and the mission of both facilities."I think it is a nice opportunity," Williams said. "I like the challenges."

Williams said as a middle school principal, he had two years to get students ready for high school while more energy is spent preparing high school students for college.

"The high school has done a nice job under Kellogg's leadership," Williams said.

Williams' long-term goal is to maintain excellence in the middle school and high school and improve relationships with the staff. He said the district has an obligation to the community to continue to improve the education students receive in Bexley.

Williams acknowledges he will need assistants running both the middle school and high school, adding that he will rely on the expertise of high school assistant principal Kristin Robbins and his new assistant at the middle school.

"My charge and my goal is to break down the artificial walls that exist between high school and middle school administrators and create an environment where we can share our expertise with each other," Williams said.