Superintendent David Axner received 60 or more applications for each of the two just completed Dublin principal searches.

Superintendent David Axner received 60 or more applications for each of the two just completed Dublin principal searches.

Axner described the pool of applicants as a "strong field of candidates."

Thomas Jones was selected to replace Tim Barton as principal of Grizzell Middle School and William T. Sternberg will replace Phil Niemie at Bailey Elementary. They were chosen after a screening and interview process that included students, parents, staff and administrators.

At the April 22 board meeting, Jones thanked those in the district who have made him feel welcome.

"I feel humbled" to be chosen, he said. "I hope to build upon the excellence already there."

Schools in Ohio no longer compete on the state or national levels, he said, but with the entire world. With the "great staff" in place at Grizzell, he said, they will work together to help students achieve.

Jones distinguished himself during the hiring process and "has a wide array of talents that will benefit our students and staff," Axner said.

Jones comes to Dublin from Dover City Schools, where he has been principal of Dover Middle School since 2004. Prior to that, Jones was principal of Garaway Middle School in Sugarcreek for seven years.

He began his career as a junior high teacher in Lodi and has taught at New Philadelphia High School. He has a bachelor's degree from Marietta College and a master's degree from Ashland University, and will soon receive his superintendent's license from Ashland.

In 2007, he was named the Ohio Association of Secondary Principals Middle Level State Principal of the Year and is the president-elect of the Ohio Middle School Association.

Barton is leaving Grizzell to help put together an alternative education program for older students, while Niemie is retiring.

During the process to find Niemie's replacement, Axner met with students at Bailey to gather input on the traits they wanted to see their next principal possess.

"I am confident the Bailey community will be pleased with our selection," Axner said at the school board meeting.

Sternberg has been looking at Dublin as the place to finish his career. "Dublin is known throughout the state and nationally. I always wanted to end up here," he said.

He added, "My concern is filling Phil's shoes."

Sternberg comes to Dublin from the Groveport-Madison district, where he has been the principal at Glendening Elementary School since 2004. Before that he was principal at Bloom Elementary School in Bloom-Carroll Schools. From 1999-2002, he was a special education interventionist with the Mayfair Achievement Program in Toledo.

Sternberg has bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Bowling Green State University.