Thomas Lanier, Pickerington High School North's assistant principal, has been hired as Westerville Central High School's next leader.

The Westerville City School District Board of Education approved hiring Lanier, effective Aug. 1, at its May 22 meeting.

Lanier, 49, will be paid an annual salary of $119,000, plus benefits valued at $19,600, for a total package of $138,600 annually, according to Greg Viebranz, director of communications and technology for the district.

Superintendent John Kellogg said Lanier has roots in the district, having graduated from Westerville South High School in 1985.

"We're excited to have him here," Kellogg said.

Board President Rick Vilardo said he knows Lanier will carry on the great things happening at Central High School.

"We're glad to have you here," Vilardo said.

Lanier said he's excited to be part of the Westerville family.

"To me, Westerville Central is a treasure," he said. "I'm so excited."

He has worked in Pickerington's school district since 2011. Prior to that, he worked as a social studies teacher and assistant high school principal with Reynoldsburg City Schools from August 1992 to July 2011.

He received his bachelor's degree in political science and accounting from Capital University, and his master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Dayton.

Lanier was chosen from about 60 applicants. The other two candidates in the top three were Benjamin A. Richards, director of communication and community outreach for Southwest Licking Local Schools, and Adonis Bolden, assistant principal of Rutherford B. Hayes High School in Delaware.

Todd Spinner, Westerville Central's current principal, is resigning from the district after 10 years to join the Olentangy Local School District on Aug. 1. He will be the principal of Olentangy's Berlin High School that will open in 2018-19.

Spinner previously said it's a principal's dream to open a new school. The school is located in the township where he lives and his son, Johnny, will be part of his first class.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla