The Pickerington Local School District Board of Education this week hired Valerie Browning to serve as superintendent for at least the next five years.

The Pickerington Local School District Board of Education this week hired Valerie Browning to serve as superintendent for at least the next five years.

The board Monday, April 28, voted unanimously to hire Browning, the current superintendent of Kings Local School District in Warren County to replace outgoing Pickerington Superintendent Rob Walker.

Browning, 50, comes to the district with a decade of experience as a superintendent.

In addition to her six years at Kings Local, she also led the Greeneview Local School District in Jamestown, Ohio, from 2005 to 2008.

Her hiring is effective Aug. 1, and she will receive an annual salary of $143,300, plus a $12,000 annuity if she stays with the district for the duration of her five-year contract.

With a benefits package that includes allowances for a car, phone and retirement contributions, the total annual value of her contract with the PLSD is $180,837, according to the Pickerington treasurer's office.

School Board President Jim Brink said Browning's experience, and Kings Local's annual academic achievements, which earned the Ohio Department of Education's rankings of "excellent" and "excellent with distinction" each year during her tenure, made her an ideal selection.

"Dr. Browning's track record in supporting high student achievement, and her overall experience as a teacher and administrator, made her a strong candidate from the beginning," Brink said.

"We believe she has the expertise to work with the board, the staff and the community to establish exemplary vision and director for our future."

Browning briefly addressed those who attended Monday night's board meeting, saying she looks forward to the challenge of transitioning from a roughly 4,000-student district at Kings Local, to Pickerington and its 10,200 students.

"We are very much looking forward to making Pickerington our home," Browning said. "One sure sign this is a great place to live is how few homes are for sale.

"I know it's a big district," she said. "It's going to be a challenge to get to know everybody's names.

"This is an excellent school district," Browning said.

"I'm coming from an excellent school district, and I know maintaining that (excellence) takes hard work every day."

In addition to Kings Local and Greeneview, Browning served as an elementary school principal in the Dayton suburb of Kettering from 1999 to 2005, and she was a junior high school principal in West Carrollton between 1997 and 1999.

She also is a past language arts, social studies and English as a Second Language teacher, as well as a gifted education coordinator.

Browning will replace Walker, who has served as Pickerington's superintendent the past two years.

Walker announced in February he planned to retire at the end of this school year to focus on his family and his health.

Walker was hired in August 2012 and given an annual salary of $135,000.

After the board approved his retire-rehire request in June 2013, Walker's annual salary was lowered to $125,000.

According to the treasurer's office, the total annual compensation value of Walker's salary and benefits is $164,092.