Northridge Primary School students will see a new leader when they return to class in a month.

Northridge Primary School students will see a new leader when they return to class in a month.

The district hired former Grandview Heights teacher Christopher Blados as the school's new principal, beginning Aug. 1.

"He has a pretty strong primary background," Northridge school board member Doug Hart said.

He said many people apply for principal positions, but often the applicants haven't had experience in that particular grade range, Hart said. Not only does Blados have experience as a primary teacher, but he also is well-versed in math, which Hart finds extremely important, he said.

"It's such an important test subject," he said.

Hart said American children in general struggle with math and that having a principal with a math background should be an advantage.

According to a district press release, Blados, 29, spent the past three years teaching and being a leader in Grandview Heights City Schools. Previously, he taught in Manassas, Va. Over his career, he has taught first and third grades and kindergarten. Blados served as co-leader and facilitator of professional development at Grandview's Stevenson Elementary School. According to the release, his strong professional development will be a great asset to the Northridge staff.

Blados earned his Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education from Muskingum College. He also has a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University and a master's in educational administration from Ohio State University.

Superintendent John Shepard said candidates with elementary classroom experience are unusual.

"It's rare to see someone who's taught those grade levels," he said, adding that Blados has specialized in literacy.

Those qualities, combined with his knowledge of math and glowing referrals, landed Blados his first position as a school principal. Shepard said Blados would earn $67,250 per year but is covering his own health benefits.

"He wanted to make the switch from a teacher to a principal," Hart said.

He said Blados would have big shoes to fill as he succeeds former Andra Kisner, who was hired in May as Garfield Elementary School's principal for Heath City Schools.

"She left on the best of terms," Hart said, adding that she has lived in Heath and, like Blados, has strong financial aptitude.

Blados said the biggest challenge for him as a new principal would be in handing over the reins of instruction to the staff after spending his career as a teacher who has worked actively with his students. He said he would continue to interact with students but would spend more time working with staff members.

Blados said he hadn't intended to be a principal at the beginning of his career.

"It didn't start out that way," he said.

He gradually took on more and more leadership roles as he taught, he said, and it became clear to him that's where his career was headed. Although his official start date is Aug. 1, Blados has been working with the Northridge administration, getting to know the district.

He lives in Blacklick with his wife, Mary.