The New Albany-Plain Local School District found its new K-1 elementary principal living in New Albany but the search for a 2-5 head principal will continue.

The New Albany-Plain Local School District found its new K-1 elementary principal living in New Albany but the search for a 2-5 head principal will continue.

Jennifer Denny was hired by the school board Feb. 27 to replace Deloris Croxall-McCafferty, who retired in January. Denny, who's lived in New Albany since 1997, is the principal of Olentangy Meadows Elementary School in the Olentangy Local School District. She has a fourth-grader at the New Albany 2-5 building.

Denny said she will not leave Olentangy until the end of August, even though her first day of work in New Albany is July 1. She said both districts have agreed to work with her during the transition in July so she can attend meetings at both schools as needed.

She will earn $98,500 in salary, excluding benefits. The district has budgeted $1,119 per month for her benefits.

Treasurer Brian Ramsay said Feb. 28 that Denny had not yet signed up for a specific coverage. Her contract, which has not yet been finalized, said she would "receive two times her salary in term life insurance benefits rounded to the nearest $500 and fully paid family health and dental insurance, with such coverage as is provided from time to time for other administrators."

The contract also said the district will pay her share of the State Teachers Retirement System contribution.

Denny's contract will run through June 30, 2014.

Superintendent April Domine said Denny has worked as a principal, administrator and curriculum director and "has an extensive research base of knowledge" and "a data-driven focus."

She also serves as the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators liaison to the state educator standards board, which Domine said will be a great asset to New Albany.

"This key advisory board includes 'stakeholders' from all major partners in education and is advising the state board of education regarding new developments in many areas related to the growth and development of the profession," Domine said.

Denny said she is pleased to be working in New Albany and she hopes to foster the positive aspects of elementary education in the district while striving to strengthen programming so children can achieve at the highest level possible.

Domine said the district will advertise again for the position of 2-5 principal.

"We will reopen the search and plan to do additional interviews in March," she said. "We'll search until we find the right candidate, someone with a strong research background and a vision for education."

Chris Briggs, 4-5 principal, left the district in July 2011 and his position was filled in the interim by Madeline Partlow, the district's director of teaching and learning.

The 2-5 elementary building has two principals: Robin Ryan, 2-3 principal, and Partlow. Domine said the district wants to hire a "head principal" for that building and keep two "support principals" because of the large number of students in the building.

A total of 61 individuals applied for the two principal positions, according to previous information from the district. Forty-seven applications were received for the 2-5 principal position. Fifty-seven were received for the K-1 job. Many applied for both positions.

Marilyn Troyer, the district's chief of innovation, improvement and human capital, reviewed the applications and conducted phone interviews with the applicants.

The district narrowed its search at the end of January to seven candidates. According to Domine, they were:

• Denny

• William Doermann, principal of Westmoor Middle School in Columbus City Schools.

• Janet Fedorenko, principal of Hanby Arts Magnet School and district art curriculum director for Westerville City Schools.

• Sharon Greene, principal of Utica Elementary School in the North Fork Local School District.

• Vicki Jarrell, principal of the Emerson World Language and Cultures Magnet School in the Westerville City Schools.

• Peggy McMurry, principal of Rosecrans Elementary School in the Big Walnut Local School District.

• Darrell Propst, principal of Taylor Road Elementary School in the Reynoldsburg City Schools.

Troyer said the district administrators selected four of the seven finalists - Denny, Greene, Jarrell and Propst - to interview last week.

Michael Acomb, principal of Orchard Middle School in Solon, also was interviewed. Acomb wasn't listed as an applicant in the information the district provided ThisWeek Jan. 24. Troyer said he was selected for an interview after the applications were received.