New Albany News

Carter, Jablonka chosen as new principals

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Two New Albany-Plain Local schools will have new principals next fall.

The school board was expected Feb. 24 to hire Dwight Carter as high school principal and Emily Jablonka as middle school principal.

Carter is principal of Gahanna Lincoln High School and Jablonka is principal of Jackson Middle School in the South-Western City Schools district.

New Albany district spokesman Patrick Gallaway said Carter is expected to begin June 1, after completing the school year at Lincoln. Jablonka's contract also will begin June 1.

Both positions were posted on the district's website and in several trade publications in 2013.

The district reinitiated the search for both administrators in November and ended up with 50 applicants for the middle school position and 30 for the high school position.

Gallaway said the list of candidates was narrowed to four at the middle school and three at the high school before Jablonka and Carter were selected.

Per the school board's Feb. 24 agenda, Carter's contract will run from June 1, 2014, to July 31, 2016. He will be paid $122,000 per year, "with additional days per diem as available."

Jablonka's contract will cover the same term. She will be paid $101,000 per year, "with additional days per diem as available," as well.

The value of their benefits packages is not yet available.

Carter has a bachelor's degree in comprehensive social studies from Wittenberg University and a master's degree in education administration from Ashland University.

He has worked in education for 20 years, also serving as an assistant high school principal, middle school principal and teacher.

"I was interested in the position because I was looking for a new challenge and growth opportunity professionally, but I was not ready to leave the school setting," Carter said.

"I was intrigued by the vision of the district and felt that with my experiences at Gahanna Lincoln, I would be a good fit at New Albany High School.

"One challenge I'll face is 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 state, so I look forward to working with staff to incorporate ways to engage today's learners even more.

"Another challenge is simply starting over with new staff, students and parents in a new learning environment," Carter said. "It's important to first establish positive relationships while establishing high expectations and clear goals."

Jablonka has a bachelor of arts degree from Capital University and a master's degree in education administration from the University of Dayton at Capital University.

She has worked as assistant middle school principal, a middle school language-arts teacher and a fifth-grade literacy, math and social studies teacher.

"I was interested in the position because the vision of the district to be the leader in reinventing education sparked my interest, ignited my curiosity and got my creativity wheels spinning, thinking of the all the possibilities for students," Jablonka said.

"The community is extremely involved and connected to the schools, which I wholeheartedly appreciate and value. The academic achievement and value-added data for the district clearly indicate there are outstanding educators in the district and there are exciting new learning opportunities on the horizon that I am truly honored to be a part of.

"With any new beginning, there are challenges and opportunities," she said. "This will be my first position in a new district, so learning the nuances of the building, campus, and community will be a new experience for me.

"I am extremely excited for this opportunity and everything the future holds for the community of learners and educators in New Albany."

The district has been using interim principals at both the high school and middle school.

The school board on Aug. 26, 2013, hired Mark White as interim high school principal to work with assistant principals Adonis Bolden, who was the high school dean of students, and Steve Gehlert, who was the middle school assistant principal.

They replaced principal Ric Stranges and assistant principal Rex Reeder, who both resigned in August 2013 to work for Delaware Hayes High School.

At the middle school, interim principal Kip Greenhill has been working with high school science teacher Robert Messenheimer, who has served as the assistant middle school principal since Aug. 26, 2013.

Greenhill has been at New Albany Middle school almost two years since replacing Andy Culp , who accepted an assistant superintendent position with the Marysville school district on July 27, 2012.

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