The Westerville City School District is expected to pare down about 58 applicants to three later this month for the principal's job at Westerville Central High School.
Todd Spinner, who has served as Central's principal for the past decade, is leaving to become the first principal of Berlin High School, which will open for the 2018-19 school year in the Olentangy Local School District.
Spinner said opening a brand-new high school is a dream for any principal.
In addition, the building is in the township where he resides, and his son will attend the school.
Greg Viebranz, Westerville communications and technology director, said Central's principal vacancy has been posted since April 14.
As of May 1, he said, the district had received 58 applications, two of which were internal.
In the coming days, the applicant list will be narrowed through a screening process, and by the middle of May three candidates will be identified to participate in an interview process, he said.
Those interviews will involve committees comprising students, teachers, support staff, community members and PTO and booster-group representatives, Viebranz said.
He said the district hopes to have the process completed with a recommendation for the Board of Education to consider at its May 22 regular meeting.
Sarah Hagglund, Central's senior class president, said the class of 2017's relationship with the school's staff certainly has influenced the atmosphere that is evident when stepping into the building.
"Whether it's Mr. Spinner giving out his signature Warhawk high-fives, (assistant principal) Mr. (Nicholas) McIlwain telling you he is 'living the dream' every time you ask how he's doing or all the teachers who let us crash in their rooms and chat about whatever comes to mind, we have made bonds that have really created a family at Central," Hagglund said.
Hagglund said she knows all Central students will miss Spinner as he takes on his new role at Olentangy Berlin.
"His big personality, charismatic persona and devotion to our school has allowed for Central to create the welcoming environment it has," she said.
McIlwain said he has worked with Spinner for three years.
"It has been a very positive experience. I've had a lot of opportunities to learn, grow and develop from Mr. Spinner and his knowledge. We'll really miss him around here."
Spinner's employment with Olentangy will begin Aug. 1.
Olentangy Superintendent Mark Raiff was chosen as Westerville Central's first principal, but he left to become a principal in the Olentangy district before the building opened.
Todd Meyer served as Central principal from 2003 to 2007. He left the district to become principal of Olentangy Orange High School.