After almost 20 years of working in the Gahanna-Jefferson school district, Lincoln High School principal Dwight Carter will leave to become principal of New Albany High School on June 1.
The New Albany-Plain Local school board on Feb. 24 approved a two-year, two-month administrative contract for Carter through July 31, 2016, at an annual salary of $122,000, with additional days per diem as available, said Patrick Gallaway, New Albany-Plain Local's communications director.
Carter, whose signature closing is "Be great," said he thought he would be a good fit for what New Albany wants in a building leader. He said he decided to leave Gahanna based on an opportunity for a new challenge professionally.
"It's important that we keep stretching ourselves just as we ask students to stretch themselves to try new things," Carter said. "It's a risk leaving, but where there is no risk, there is no reward."
He's following interim New Albany High School principal Mark White, former G-J schools superintendent.
Carter said the decision wasn't made overnight.
"I spent quite a bit of time over Christmas break, thinking and reflecting about this decision, and felt it was the right time to put my name in the hat for the position," he said.
Carter started working in Gahanna in August 1994, teaching eighth-grade American history at Gahanna Middle School South.
He also worked in the district as Middle School East principal and assistant principal at Lincoln High School.
Carter said he loves Gahanna, and he's proud of everything the district has been able to accomplish.
"I can't put into words my affection for the people here," he said. "When you spend 20 successful years in one place, it's hard to leave. Yet this was a great opportunity for me to face a new challenge."
Carter said one of the challenges in New Albany would be to find ways to help an already highly successful school become even better.
"It's no secret that New Albany is one of the highest-ranked schools in the area, so I look forward to working with staff to incorporate ways to engage today's learners even more," he said.
Though Carter said he's excited to get started at New Albany, he's thoroughly committed to finishing this school year on a positive note and to helping with the transition to a new principal.
Carter was one of three digital-principal award winners from a national pool of 70 principals in 2013. The award recognizes individuals who had incorporated technology successfully to improve instruction, communication and student engagement.
He also earned national recognition in summer 2010 by being the only educator inducted into the Jostens Renaissance Hall of Fame. The award is presented annually to up to four educators who have guided their school's Jostens Renaissance program successfully and made a positive impact upon the entire school community. Renaissance, a program that rewards and recognizes students and staff members for academic improvement and excellence, has been at Lincoln High School since 1997.
ThisWeek reporter Lori Wince contributed to this story.