Grandview's newest principals raring to go
Angela Ullum is Stevenson's new leader; Ken Chaffin will take reins at high school
It won't be just kindergarten students and ninth-graders starting a new chapter when the school year opens next month in Grandview.
Angela Ullum will be the new principal at Stevenson Elementary School, and Ken Chaffin will be the new high school principal.
Both administrators said they are excited about coming to the district.
"I work at Barrington Elementary in Upper Arlington right now, and so I'm very familiar with Grandview," Ullum said. "There's a small-town feel to the community and it seems like everyone is connected to each other. There's also such great support for the schools in the community. I like that."
Ullum currently serves as assistant principal at Barrington. She previously worked as a fourth-grade teacher in Delaware and Hilliard schools, and as an elementary instructional specialist at Greensview Elementary School in UA.
"I love working with little kids," Ullum said. "I love to watch them ask questions and be amazed at what they learn. I think we learn as much from them as they do from us."
Teaching elementary-age students "keeps you young," she said.
Ullum said she became interested in teaching at a young age, helping her mother, who taught a YMCA preschool program, and serving as a "buddy" to younger students at the small Catholic school she attended.
"The student I was assigned to had cerebral palsy and I helped her through high school," she said. "I found that I really enjoyed helping other people learn."
The most rewarding part of being an educator is seeing the excitement on a child's face when they began to understand something they've been struggling with, Ullum said.
Ullum and her husband, Sam, live in Hilliard with their two daughters: Maggie, a sixth-grader, and Abby, who is in fifth grade.
Grandview "has a rich tradition of not only excellent teachers and support of the community, but excellent students, too," Chaffin said.
The high school's small size "gives you a unique opportunity to have a close connection with the kids, to get to know every student and help them succeed," he said.
Although he currently serves as assistant principal at McCord Middle School in Worthington, most of Chaffin's experience is at the high school level. He previously served as assistant principal at Piqua High School and as an intervention specialist at Marysville High School.
Chaffin said he enjoys the sense of community that athletics, marching band, Science Olympiad and other co- and extracurricular activities bring to a high school.
"I enjoy working with high school students," he said. "They are on their way to becoming adults and it's important to help steer and direct them into the right path."
Chaffin said some of the teachers he had as a student helped influence his own career path.
"They really stood out and were kind of heroic to me," he said. "They served as mentors and helped instill a vision in my life."
Chaffin and his wife, Liz, live in Marysville. They have two children: Drew, 5, and Camille, who is about to turn 2.