Six finalists were scheduled to be interviewed April 16-18 for the position of Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools superintendent.

Six finalists were scheduled to be interviewed April 16-18 for the position of Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools superintendent.

The district on April 12 provided the names of 20 candidates who had applied for the position after ThisWeek filed a public-records request April 9. Candidates who were interested in the position had to apply by April 6 through the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.

District public-information officer Michael Straughter said interviews were scheduled this week with six finalists: four current school superintendents, a director of administrative services and an assistant superintendent of curriculum. A second round of interviews is scheduled to start April 30.

Finalists are as follows:

• Robert Britton has served as superintendent of Ridgedale Local Schools in Morral since 2008. He previously worked for 10 years as high school principal, teacher and coach in the Elgin Local School District.

"During my tenure as an administrator, I have come to understand the importance of communication, leadership, organization and vision in the role of school administration," he wrote in his application. I pride myself in being able to effectively communicate with all stakeholders involved in the educational setting and actively listen to concerns and ideas before coming to a decision."

Britton said he could effect positive change within the school community.

• James Grube has been superintendent of Buckeye Valley Local Schools since August 2010.

He previously served for 12 years in the South-Western City Schools as a personnel director and Westland High School principal.

At Buckeye Valley, Grube said, he helped enact $1.1 million in budget reductions, piloted Wi-Fi access on bus routes and began the path for the Race to the Top journey while reaching district all-time-high levels on report card indicators.

"If you are seeking a leader who is dynamic, visionary and will innovatively lead Gahanna-Jefferson into the 21st century, then please consider what I have to offer," he said.

• George Joseph has served as executive director of administrative services for Worthington City Schools since 2009. He previously worked as assistant principal of curriculum and instruction and testing coordinator of Thomas Worthington High School for two years. In the Worthington schools, Joseph also has worked as an elementary principal, high school assistant principal and district administrator in the central office.

"I believe that my diverse experience and core beliefs will not only continue the current high expectations and trends of the district but (also) will lay the foundation for a culture that values creativity, innovation and passion for learning," he wrote.

Joseph said he is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of all students, families and the community.

"I work hard to accomplish this by focusing on student achievement and creating meaningful collaborative relationships with all stakeholders," he wrote. "I believe that I can help continue to move the Gahanna-Jefferson school district and community forward in positive ways."

• Dr. John Kellogg has been assistant superintendent of curriculum of the South-Western City Schools since 2011. He previously worked as principal of Bexley High School from 2002 to 2010.

"I have a strong understanding of how to improve efficiency and manage resources in a public school by focusing on creative solutions and effective business management practices," Kellogg wrote. "As a school leader, I have a proven record of finding and supporting innovative practices that expand opportunities for staff and students."

Kellogg said he would be committed to collaborating with the school board and establishing a strong culture of trust with the community.

"I have always been inspired to work hard at creating conditions that make students successful," he said.

• Francis Robert Scruci has been superintendent of Wellington Exempted Village Schools for four years. He previously served as principal of Bellevue High School for five years.

"I have earned a positive reputation with my staff and community as a tireless worker and a creative and responsible fiscal agent," he wrote. "I have always been known as fair and firm in my approach but willing to make the tough decision." Scruci said he's people-oriented and can connect with all walks of life.

"I am a strong and supportive leader that believes in collaboration and find it essential to involve all stakeholders in decision-making in order to achieve the best results," he said.

• Dr. Michael Zalar has been superintendent of Oregon City Schools since 2008. He previously served as Clay High School principal for six years.

"Throughout my 25 years in education, I have had the good fortune to work in urban, suburban and rural school districts at all levels of secondary education," he wrote. "I have a deep understanding of school improvement initiatives as they relate to both academic and career and technical education."

He said he has a team-concept approach to organizational management that has facilitated the development of leadership at all levels of the school operation.

"I am confident I can make a positive contribution to the continued success and overall progress of the Gahanna-Jefferson school district," he said.

Board action to employ the new superintendent tentatively is scheduled for May 21, and the preferred start date is Aug. 1. Superintendent Mark White on Jan. 24 announced that he would resign effective July 31 to pursue new career opportunities. He has spent 11 years in the district, starting as principal of Gahanna Lincoln High School in 2001. In 2008, he was selected to serve as assistant superintendent and became superintendent two years later. He succeeded Gregg Morris, who retired.

White is in his second year of a three-year contract, with an annual salary of $148,305 and benefits package of $42,757, for a total of $191,062, according to treasurer Julio Valladares.