Carlisle Elementary School soon will welcome a new principal who comes with a background in literacy and a lifelong dream of being an educator.
Current Carlisle Principal Steve Andrews will retire at the end of the school year, and the Delaware City School District hired Renae Schwartz as his replacement.
Schwartz currently serves as principal at Licking Heights South Elementary School, where she also served as an assistant principal.
She taught second grade in the Hilliard City School District for five years.
"It's been my goal since third grade to be a teacher, because I had the best teacher ever," she said. "I never swerved from this career goal. I stuck with this all the way through college."
After Schwartz graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in human ecology, she earned her master's degree in educational administration from Ashland University.
She worked as a literacy coordinator for two years before becoming a second-grade teacher.
"I have a background in literacy and I believe this is a strength I will bring to the district," she said.
As a literacy coach, she worked with students and parents to balance literacy skills with other areas of study. In addition, Schwartz taught district teachers to help cultivate the skills they needed to effectively teach literacy.
Although her original dream was to be a teacher, she was asked by school administrators to take a more active role in leading other teachers and making administrative decisions.
She said she knew she was ready to take on a real leadership role, and said she believes she gets the best of both worlds.
"This is a good balance for me because I get to be a leader for teachers and still work with the kids," Schwartz said.
She said one of her draws to Delaware was the strong sense of community and the fact that community members take ownership of the schools, which she said was demonstrated by the passage of the bond issue Tuesday, May 7.
Schwartz will begin her duties in July, which will be during the planning phases for the renovations funded by the bond issue. Her first year will include construction and renovation of the elementary school.
"I've been through two large construction projects in other districts, so I am aware of the challenges," she said. "It is a little confusing for the kids, but in the end, it's what's best for them and the community."