For the past 14 years, Upper Arlington High School principal Kip Greenhill has been the most senior principal in Franklin County.

For the past 14 years, Upper Arlington High School principal Kip Greenhill has been the most senior principal in Franklin County.

"I've been doing it longer than anyone else in the county for 14 years. I've loved it, but I want to do other things now," he said.

Greenhill announced his his plans to resign in May. The 2011-12 school year will mark the end of his 25-year career as a high school principal. For Greenhill, the job has been all-consuming.

"I've never really had any real hobbies. I literally live here at the school," he said. "I am here just about every night. I've put almost every living hour into being a high school principal for the past 25 years."

Even so, Greenhill says he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I love it. I absolutely love it. It's just the right job for me. It's a great job, but it's not an easy job," he said.

School board member Bob Arkin said Greenhill is known for his dedication.

"Kip Greenhill doesn't do what most people do, his job. He is his job. He lives it, he loves it and that shows in dozens of ways," Arkin said. "I don't believe I have ever seen a better fit between someone's skills and character and the career they have pursued."

Greenhill's ability to connect with every individual student at UAHS even spawned a few legends.

"There was a rumor that always seemed to circulate that he studied flashcards over the summer of the 500 or so students that were entering as freshmen each year," said Joshua David Arkin, a member of the class of 2007. "I'm still not certain if this was true, but it was certainly possible. I can't remember a single instance in which he couldn't remember a student's name."

After earning his bachelor's degree at Baldwin-Wallace College, Greenhill taught social studies and coached several sports at Strongsville High School. He went on to earn a master's degree at Kent State University, and his first position as a principal was at a junior high school in Fremont. Greenhill then served as Bexley High School's principal for nine years, and has been with UAHS for the last 16.

"I've really had the chance to build a high school here. There are only eight teachers on the staff I haven't hired," he said. Greenhill said he's particularly enjoyed cultivating a unique school climate.

"When you come here, it's clearly different. It's a college campus experience," he said. Of the 2011 graduating class, 84 percent took college-level courses through either the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs.

Greenhill said he also tries to offer UAHS students more freedom because he feels it better prepares them for college. He credits much of the school's unique environment to the faculty.

"It hasn't been me - it's what the faculty has done. I've tried to create an environment where people can bring forward ideas, where innovation is encouraged and failure is accepted."

In addition to increased participation in AP and IB classes, Greenhill said he's also particularly proud of the senior capstone graduation requirement, as well as "record highs" in student scores on the ACT.

During his last year at UAHS, Greenhill hopes to improve school performance on the Ohio Graduation Test.

"I'm very disappointed in our Ohio Graduation Test results," he said. "I have to take responsibility for it because I allowed us to lose our focus. We need to refocus on some of the basics. That's not the faculty. That's me. I allowed us to get sidetracked."

According to data from the Ohio Department of Education, 90.5 percent of UAHS sophomores passed all five sections of the OGT in March 2011, up from 89.8 percent in 2010.

"We improved, but not as much as other schools improved," he said.

In retirement, Greenhill plans to get involved politically in the community. He said he takes the responsibility to make the future better for young people "pretty seriously.

"I've been blessed to be a part of two of the best school districts in the state of Ohio, Bexley and Upper Arlington," Greenhill said. "That's one reason I've been able to do this as long as I have. For me, it's been a dream job."