Pickerington Local School District officials last week announced a 26-year educator with ties to several central Ohio school districts has been selected to be the next superintendent.

On May 25, Chris Briggs was announced as the district's next superintendent and his hiring was to have been made official during a special school board meeting that was planned for May 30.

Briggs, 48, comes to the district after serving as superintendent of the Northridge Local School District in Licking County since 2013.

His career in education includes working as an intervention specialist, assistant principal and athletic director in the South-Western City Schools district and as a principal with the Hamilton Local Schools in Hamilton Township.

He also was an intermediate school principal in New Albany-Plain Local School District for eight years, and served three years as regional executive director for the Columbus City Schools district.

Pending board approval, Briggs was expected to receive a five-year contract from Pickerington. According to the Pickerington Treasurer's Office, he will receive an annual base salary of $155,000.

With annual benefits such as retirement contributions, medical insurance and a car and cell phone allowance, his total yearly contract is valued at $218,979.66. He also will receive a total of $9,700 in relocation and temporary housing expenses.

"I'm really excited," Briggs said. "I think it's a great opportunity."

Briggs said he was recruited for the post by K-12 Business Consulting, which was hired by Pickerington at a cost of $12,900 to assist with its superintendent search.

"When I started looking into the position, it just turned out to be a great opportunity," Briggs said.

"I was just excited to be part of a district that has the tradition Pickerington does, both scholastically and in extracurriculars."

Briggs replaces Valerie Browning-Thompson, who took over as Pickerington's superintendent in August 2014. She announced in April she would retire at the end of this school year after 31 years in education.

Browning-Thompson received a base salary of $157,000 and, with benefits, her total contract was valued at $188,567.19.

According to information provided by the district, Briggs was one of 12 applicants whose credentials were reviewed, and he was one of six semifinalists interviewed May 16 and 17 for the post.

He ultimately was selected from a pool of three finalists that also included Scott Nelson, superintendent of the Sylvania City School District in northwest Ohio, and Isaac Seevers, superintendent of the Greeneview Local School District in Jamestown, Ohio.

"The board looks forward to Dr. Briggs joining the Pickerington team as we continue our quest to provide high quality education to all students in a caring and safe environment," said Vanessa Niekamp, Pickerington Board of Education president.

"On behalf of the board, I wish to thank the community members, staff and consultants who assisted in this important process.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Briggs, and believe he will have a positive impact in our community."

Briggs has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and special education from Muskingum College, and a master's degree in educational administration from Ohio State University.

He received his educational doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in 2006, and is a member of numerous professional and civic organizations.

He also serves on the State of Ohio Superintendent Advisory Committee comprised of selected superintendents from around the state.

Briggs contract with the district officially begins Aug. 1. However, he said he intends to begin working July 10.

"I'm looking forward just to coming into the district and building relationships and just getting to know the district," he said.

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