Grandview Heights Schools has chosen Scott Stewart to serve as interim principal at Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle school for the 2019-20 school year.

Stewart will serve in the temporary position to give the district time to conduct a comprehensive search for a permanent principal to replace Tracie Lees, who will leave July 31 for a position with Granville Exempted Village Schools.

"We will be including students, staff and community members in the search process in February and March to hire our next principal," Superintendent Andy Culp said.

Stewart will not apply for the permanent position, he said.

The Grandview Heights school board will be asked to approve a contract with Stewart at a special meeting July 30, Culp said.

The contract is expected to be a purchase agreement with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, where Stewart currently serves as the director of the principals resource network, he said.

The details of the contract, including Stewart's salary for the school year, had not yet been finalized July 15, Culp said.

Stewart previously has served as a high school principal in the Gahanna, Oakwood and Upper Arlington school districts and was principal at New Albany High School from 1999-2010 before leaving the district to join the ESC.

"Scott is a proven educational leader who always puts students first, no matter what," Culp said. "His first priority is making sure their educational, emotional and social needs are met."

Stewart is "a servant leader" who "invests in building relationships with staff, with students and with everyone in the community," he said.

Culp worked with Stewart in New Albany, serving as a teacher and then middle school principal during a portion of Stewart's tenure as a high school principal.

Grandview Chief Academic Officer Jamie Lusher and Madeline Partlow, Grandview's director of student services/Title IX coordinator, also worked in New Albany during Stewart's time there.

Having colleagues he knows in administrative positions will make his transition in Grandview easier, Stewart said.

"I'm very familiar with the Grandview district and know it as a place where parents support the schools, the kids are enthusiastic about learning and the administration and staff are exceptional," he said. "It has all of the ingredients needed for a recipe of success.

"This is a district that's not in need of any great change," Stewart said.

As interim principal, "I want to listen and learn and make adjustments as needed," he said.

As director of the principals resource network at ESC, Stewart said, he helps develop mentoring programs for principals at districts in the eight-county region the agency serves.

"I'm excited about getting back into the principal field and working with this age level of students," he said. "It's something that I decided was right for me to do at this time after consulting" with his wife of 35 years, Barb.

The Stewarts live in New Albany and have two sons and four grandchildren.