New Albany's search for a new assistant high school principal may be over.

New Albany's search for a new assistant high school principal may be over.

New Albany High School athletic director Rex Reeder was recommended by the school's interviewing committee, according to NAHS principal Ric Stranges.

"We've gone through the process and we're waiting for board approval," said Stranges, the former assistant principal. Stranges, whose hiring was approved May 24 by the school board.

The New Albany-Plain Local school board did not discuss the issue at its June 28 meeting.

Board president Mark Ryan said interim superintendent Bill Reimer has not yet recommended the hiring to the board. Once the superintendent makes a recommendation, the board will have to take action.

If Reeder is hired as assistant principal, the district would have to search for a new athletic director. Those will be big shoes to fill, according to two NAHS coaches.

"It's going to be hard for the next person to do what he did for New Albany athletics," said football coach Mark Mueller. "He gave me the opportunity (to coach). For him to stick his neck out there as we were growing, going from Division III to Division II, that means a lot to me personally."

Jamie Puryear, NAHS girls basketball coach, said she appreciated Reeder's rapport with coaches.

"Even after tough losses, you could walk into Rex's office and your head's down," she said. "When you walk out, your head's up because you know he's behind you."

Puryear said Reeder is a good fit for the job culturally and academically.

"Rex is a New Albany person," she said. "With him being an ex-coach and now an athletic director, he's been pretty successful at both.

"I think our students will benefit from him, not just in athletics. He'll be on the academic side of things and that will be great for New Albany."

The board also recognized new assistant middle school principal Steve Gehlert.

Middle school principal Andrew Culp said he is anxious to work with Gehlert, who he said "is going to do an outstanding job."

Gehlert is leaving Dublin City Schools, where he taught high school Spanish and was assistant dean of schools. He said he began his career teaching in a middle school.

"I love the middle school atmosphere and am excited to work with middle school kids again," he said.

The board also recognized the hiring of geometry and college algebra teacher Chrissie Abbott and chemistry and physics teacher Candace Susa, who both will teach at the high school, and Lisa Harrison, who will teach mathematics and literacy support in the K-1 building.

lwince@thisweeknews.com