After two decades in education, including 10 as a principal in two Ohio districts, Mark Ulbrich this August will take over as principal of Pickerington High School North.
The Pickerington Board of Education earlier this month approved a two-year contract for Ulbrich to serve as North's next principal.
Ulbrich, who has been Zanesville High School principal since 2008 and who also served as Maysville High School principal from 2004 to 2008, will replace Kiya Hunt, North's principal the past two school years.
Hunt is leaving the district after being hired in May to become assistant superintendent of the Canal Winchester Local School District.
"I really thought this was a great opportunity for me professionally," Ulbrich said last week.
"Pickerington Local Schools have a long tradition of excellence, they have great facilities and great staff," he said.
Ulbrich will receive a $109,420 annual, base salary, according to the Pickerington Local School District's Superintendent's Office.
In addition to his 10 years as principal, Ulbrich also has been an assistant principal at Maysville High School and he taught social studies at River View High School and Zanesville High School.
"Mr. Ulbrich has 24 years' experience as an educator, with 13 years of classroom experience and 11 years administrative experience," said outgoing PLSD Superintendent Rob Walker, who recommended Ulbrich's hire.
"He has been a building principal for 10 years, serving at Maysville High School from 2004 to 2008 and Zanesville High School from 2008 to 2014.
"He clearly was the best candidate for the vacancy."
Ulbrich said he looks forward to moving to North, which will have about twice as many students and staff members as Zanesville High School.
"Zanesville had about 1,000 students and 50 staff," he said. "This basically doubles that.
"A lot of the structures of the (Zanesville) school, such as collaboration and the ways in which we are tracking data for students, are things that have been started or will be started in Pickerington," Ulbrich said.
"I feel very confident with the skill set I bring in."
That experience, and the assistance he's receiving from Hunt and North staff members have, thus far, smoothed the transition, Ulbrich said.
And while he's an experienced educator and administrator, he said he doesn't expect to re-invent the wheel in his inaugural year.
"My first objective really is going to be listening to what people have to say and find out how things work in Pickerington," Ulbrich said.
"I'm really not going to come in and make a lot of changes."
Ulbrich said he anticipates working closely with North staff and district officials to continue to hone assessment strategies for both students and teachers, in keeping with evolving state regulations and performance standards.
He said he hopes to communicate school issues, programs and other news through an active Twitter account.
He encouraged parents, students and other community members to follow him via @Mr_Ulbrich.
"I'm just aware of (North's) reputation in circles around the state in academics, facilities, athletics and other programs," Ulbrich said.
"I'm aware of the tradition Pickerington North has in all those areas.
"My family and I are very excited about this opportunity."