The Northridge Local School District announced July 7 the school board intends to hire Scott Schmidt, Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools' assistant superintendent, as its next superintendent.

Schmidt said he's very excited about the new experiences and opportunities he'll have in Northridge.

"The school community has been very welcoming, and you can tell there is something special about the district, and I look forward to becoming a part of the Viking family," Schmidt said.

The Northridge school board is scheduled to take action on hiring Schmidt on Monday, July 17.

His employment would be effective Aug. 1.

"The district faces a number of critical issues, all of which must be tackled immediately," said Doug Hart, Northridge board president.

"Though everyone we interviewed would have been a fine choice, Mr. Schmidt stood apart as being best suited to take on the multiple tasks at hand," he said.

Chris Briggs, the previous superintendent of Northridge, is leaving for the Pickerington Local School District after serving Northridge for the past four years.

Gahanna Superintendent Steve Barrett announced Schmidt's departure to the district on July 7.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for Scott and we wish him the very best," he said. "Scott has been a valuable member of our team – smart, compassionate, knowledgeable and unwavering in his support for our students and families."

Barrett said Schmidt has been a member of the district family in many roles, including that of a student, a teacher, a principal, a business manager, a curriculum director and an interim superintendent.

"He will bring a great deal of skill and expertise to Northridge, and he is excited to take on his new role," Barrett said. "Scott will be deeply missed, and we wish him the best of luck."

Schmidt said he has been fortunate to work with many great administrators, teachers, parents and students during his 19-year tenure with GJPS, and he can't thank them enough for their support and encouragement.

Schmidt said he wasn't looking for other positions, but when the Northridge superintendent vacancy was announced, it caught his attention.

"About a year ago, while sitting at a coffee shop in Alexandria, my wife and I commented that maybe one day we could see ourselves in a school community like Northridge," he said. "When I saw the opening, I thought, 'Why wait?' "

Schmidt said the position will allow him to use the various skills he has learned at Gahanna.

He said it also would provide him an opportunity to be more connected with the community, staff and students.

Upon board approval, Schmidt would receive a three-year contract.

Among the 28 applicants who applied for the post, Schmidt was among the final three that included Brian Blum, Wright Elementary School principal in the Dublin City Schools, and Garilee Ogden, director of curriculum, instruction and professional development in the Groveport Madison Local Schools.

Gahanna school officials will host a celebration for Schmidt from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, on the second floor of Clark Hall, 380 Granville St. in Gahanna.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

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