For Lauren Barr, returning to the Dublin City School District feels like coming home.
Barr, a Hilliard resident, will leave her role as assistant principal at Barrington Elementary School in Upper Arlington to become principal at Scottish Corners Elementary School in Dublin.
Dublin Board of Education members April 23 approved a two-year contract for Barr effective Aug. 1, with a salary of $104,643 and a total compensation of $136,035.
Barr will replace Janet Rinefierd, who is retiring.
More than 100 candidates applied for the principal position, said Todd Hoadley, Dublin superintendent. About 15 people were interviewed in the first round, and that pool was narrowed to six candidates who were interviewed by groups of parents, faculty, staff and administrators.
Samantha Chatman, principal at Taft Elementary School in Marion, also was interviewed as a finalist.
Hoadley said the parents', faculty's and staff's preference for Barr factored a great deal into the district's decision to hire her.
"The selection of a building principal is extremely important," he said.
Barr has been assistant principal at Barrington since 2016. Prior to that, she served as an administrative intern at Eli Pinney Elementary School in Dublin in a program Hoadley said is designed to allow Dublin teachers to gain administrative experience.
"Her roots are in Dublin," Hoadley said.
Barr taught at Daniel Wright and Scottish Corners elementary schools, and prior to that she was a substitute teacher for Dublin and the Wellington School. She also taught at Columbus Arts & Technology Academy.
Barr earned a master's degree in educational administration from Ohio State University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Toledo.
Returning to the Dublin schools community feels like a gift, Barr said.
From the time she was in kindergarten -- she attended Scottish Corners beginning in 1987 through fifth grade -- she knew she wanted to be a teacher, Barr said.
"It's always been just part of me and what I always knew I was meant to be," she said.
Once she became a teacher, she realized she wanted to get into an administrative role, Barr said.
"It's definitely a wonderful opportunity to be able to be back there now and to join the team as principal," she said.