West Side News

New principals excited about joining South-Western

New Franklin Heights principal hails from Westerville; new Pleasant View principal from Gahanna

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When the opportunity to join the South-Western City School District arose, Andy Jados was excited to take it.

"South-Western has such a great reputation, especially with the size of the district, for still doing cutting edge things at its schools. I wanted to be part of that," said Jados, who is the new principal at Franklin Heights High School.

Jados has spent the past five years as assistant principal at Westerville High School. He has previously worked in the Pickerington and Hilliard districts.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Franklin Heights post is the diversity of its student body, he said.

"I think that's one of the strengths of the school," Jados said. "And I've always heard that Franklin Heights has a very caring staff willing to do whatever it takes to make sure students succeed."

Helping students as they prepare to graduate and become adults is the most satisfying part of serving as a high school educator, he said.

"It's so rewarding to help them come up with plans that will lead them to success as they move on after high school," Jados said.

Observing the impact teachers had on students sparked Jados' interest in education as far back as middle school.

"I had a great connection with my teachers and coaches and I could see even then that I would enjoy helping students succeed," he said.

Fittingly, the student who loved social studies taught the subject in his first teaching post in Hilliard.

Jados and his wife, Tracy, live in Westerville with their children Maren, 15; Drew, 12; and Will, 10.

Brett Harmon, Pleasant View Middle School's new principal, said he was excited about the professional growth opportunities working in a large district like South-Western provides.

"I know South-Western has a tradition of great support from parents and the community, and when you combine that with the outstanding staff they have here, it's a place you want to be," he said.

Harmon has spent the past decade working in Gahanna, the school district he attended as a student. For the past five years he was the principal at Gahanna Middle School West. He began his teaching career in 1999 in the Hamilton Local School District.

"I started out working in the business world, but when I began coaching, that's when I learned that I loved working with kids," Harmon said. "I decided to go back to school to become a teacher and I haven't looked back or regretted a single day since then.

"I think the best thing to me about middle school is that the kids really need you," he said. "It's such an important time of their lives. They are going through so many physical and emotional changes at that age, that they really depend on you to help guide them."

Harmon said he is looking forward to working with Pleasant View parents, staff and students.

"I want to make sure our students feel safe and welcome and that we continue to do everything we can to help them succeed."

Harmon and his wife, Tracy live in Gahanna with their three children, Mikaylee, Delaney and Liam.

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