The New Albany-Plain Local School District has set Feb. 28 as the deadline for middle school principal applications.

The New Albany-Plain Local School District has set Feb. 28 as the deadline for middle school principal applications.

"We're trying to cast a really wide net because this is a really vital role," said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway.

Gallaway said he called the position "an important component of our leadership team" because of the development that happens in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. New Albany Middle School has 1,200 students and two assistant principals, Steve Gehlert and Elizabeth Gonda.

"We want to find the best leader to take on this position," Gallaway said.

Kip Greenhill, a retired principal, is serving as interim principal of New Albany Middle School this school year.

Gallaway said district officials hope to have the new principal in place by the end of the school year.

"Our overall goal is to have someone on board for summer," Gallaway said.

The district will complete the search for the new principal under the direction of Marilyn Troyer, the district's chief of innovation, improvement and human capital.

According to the job posting, the district is seeking candidates with "extensive experience and expertise in education and in leading collaborative change" and some background in "international education, International Baccalaureate, international schools, recent school reform initiatives, quality improvement or efficiency systems and extensive data analysis and use of the statistical information to engage staff for improving student learning."

The new principal will be asked to provide instructional leadership and staff development, using state standards and following the district's mission to "develop high-achieving, ethical, self-directed, intellectually curious citizens of the world."

The entire list of qualifications is posted on the district's website,

Gallaway said the detailed posting would help candidates better assess their chances of obtaining the position.

The principal's position opened last summer when Andy Culp resigned to become assistant superintendent of the Marysville school district. He earned $106,110 in salary and $41,844 in benefits at New Albany-Plain Local.

To replace Culp on short notice, the district hired Greenhill, who had just retired from his position at Upper Arlington High School. Greenhill will earn $99,500 in salary and $40,446.25 in benefits.

The new principal's salary will be "competitive and commensurate with experience and includes excellent benefits," according to the job posting. District officials said salaries are part of contract negotiations.