Reynoldsburg High School principal Diane Mankins will resign July 31 to become principal at Grove City High School.

Reynoldsburg High School principal Diane Mankins will resign July 31 to become principal at Grove City High School.

Superintendent Steve Dackin made the announcement at Tuesday's board of education meeting. Mankins, 38, a 1987 graduate of Reynoldsburg High School, has been employed by the Reynoldsburg district since 1991.

According to information from South-Western City Schools, she will be paid $108,714 annually.

Dackin said the search for Mankins' successor will begin immediately. He would like to have somebody in place by the end of June.

"She's left quite a legacy, I think. She's in a job that is very, very difficult and very complex and we are grateful for her service as a principal, a teacher and a coach," Dackin said.

"The thing I think about of Diane is that she is always a champion of students that not necessarily have people who champion things for them," he added. "She leaves the high school, I think, a better place than when she found it I wish Diane the very best as she travels down the road to additional opportunities."

Board members also praised Mankins.

"You have done a great job and I know I'll miss you," board member Mary Burcham said.

"Diane, I'll tell you this: If you put into your new venture like you've done here, you will be a success and I thank you for your services," said board member Chip Martin.

Board President Cheryl Max told Mankins she would be welcome, should she choose to return to Reynoldsburg in the future.

"Don't hesitate to come back, because we're surrounded by people who go out there and gain a little knowledge and then come back and share again," she said.

Mankins, a 1987 RHS graduate, said she decided to take the Grove City job because it offers a chance for new opportunities and challenges.

"I am one of those people who puts everyone else before me and for the first time in my life, I made a decision for me," she said. "Grove City is an excellent high school and I'm looking forward to working with that school staff and the students and community and taking it to the next level, too."

Mankins said she is not leaving because of Dackin's recent announcement that the district needs to cut $2.2-million from its budget for fiscal year 2009.

"Dr. Ross (former superintendent Richard Ross) and Steve both have been very open about the direction that we're going to have to head and we've lived through cuts in the past couple of years," she said.

As for a possible second high school in Reynoldsburg, she said the district needs it for the sake of the kids at the current high school.

"It's too crowded at that building and it's not the way high school is supposed to be," Mankins said. "High school is supposed to be about knowing your teachers and knowing your principal and knowing one another and we're limited with that. what the district is trying to do with Reynoldsburg Reach is phenomenal because it's going to create that kind of atmosphere."

Mankins said she would advise her successor to be involved in as much as possible in the district.

"It will always be a part of me," she said. "It's a great staff, great kids and a great community also."