Preceded by raves, Robert Brown's arrival at Grandview Heights High School has been welcomed by district officials and the new principal himself.

The Grandview Heights City School District last week hired Brown as principal at the high school.

Brown, who currently serves as assistant principal at McCord Middle School in Worthington, will replace Ken Chaffin. Chaffin accepted a position as principal at Early College High School in the Marysville Exempted Village School District.

The school board approved Brown at its April 25 meeting. He will begin as principal Aug. 1 at a salary of $110,000.

"I couldn't be more excited about coming to Grandview," Brown said.

"It's a school district and community with a well-known reputation for placing an emphasis on personalizing the learning of every student.

"I was drawn first to Grandview knowing that it's a place where there's such strong support for students from the community, staff and administration," he said. "Then when I got such a warm feeling of welcome the first time I visited, I quickly wanted to be part of this community and this school."

One of the most impressive aspects of Grandview is the focus on collaboration among staff, Brown said.

"I love collaborative leadership," he said. "We all have a passion as educators for teaching students and I think the best results come from sharing ideas."

Superintendent Andy Culp said every person he spoke with from Worthington "raved" about Brown's "student-centered approach, his willingness to go above and beyond to help each individual student, his work ethic and his collaborative work style."

Brown has spent the past three years at McCord Middle School. He previously served as dean of students at Worthington Kilbourne High School and on the staff at the McVey Innovative Learning Center in Hilliard during its first months of operation.

Before becoming an administrator, Brown was a special-education teacher at Hilliard Davidson and Hilliard Bradley high schools.

He holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's of education degree in mental and physical disabilities from the University of Pittsburgh; principal licensure from Ohio State University; and an administrative specialist license in curriculum, instruction and professional development from Ashland University.

"I love working with kids at all levels, but the best thing about serving high school students is that you get the opportunity to see them off to college and career," Brown said. "The most rewarding part, in a way, is saying goodbye to them as they head off to their future accomplishments."

"Middle school students are great, but it's a little harder knowing what impact you're having on them outside of their academic achievement in the classroom," he said. "They're still a work in progress compared to high school students."

The board April 25 also approved hiring Kyle Mahan as the district's new food service director. Mahan replaces Carol Hamilton, who resigned her position effective April 30.

Mahan currently serves as assistant food service director at Aramark Education K-12. His salary will be $53,000.

Brown and Mahan were both approved for two-year contracts, expiring July 31, 2020. The contracts include employer contributions to the State Teachers Retirement System for Brown and the School Employees Retirement System for Mahan as well as board-paid insurance.

The dollar value associated with the pickup on on an annual basis is $17,556 for Brown and $5,830 for Mahan, Assistant Treasurer Jennie Clifton said.

The dollar value associated with the 100 percent board-paid health insurance, on an annual basis and based on the current plan rates and coverage election, are: employee only, $811; employee and spouse, $2,877; employee with children, $2,652; and family, $3,862, Clifton said.