Westerville resident Daniel Graves, 58, has been hired as principal of Goshen Lane Elementary School, 370 Goshen Lane, in the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools.

Gahanna's school board unanimously approved a two-year contract with Graves, elementary executive director in the Columbus City Schools, during its July 18 meeting.

Graves will begin working as Goshen Lane's principal Aug. 1.

He replaces Melanie McGue who accepted a position at the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.

Graves' annual salary will be $118,422 with a benefits package valued at $42,374, for a total annual package of $160,796, according to the contract.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools," he said. "One of the reasons I wanted to join the district is found in the Quality Profile that speaks to how the community places a high value on education and expects its schools to prepare students for success beyond the classroom.

"Success beyond the classroom resonates with me, as I believe we have to prepare students to be successful in an ever-changing world, and with the advances of technology, a world that may look a lot differently 15 to 20 years from what it does now," he said.

Graves said he wants to be a part of working to meet those expectations.

"I also appreciate the district's focus on relationships and forming positive relationships with students, parents and the community," he said.

"Through positive relationships, many barriers can be overcome and can lead to great accomplishments."

Superintendent Steve Barrett said Graves brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience to Goshen Lane, and the district is excited to have him join the team.

"Daniel has worked with teams of teachers to create strong networks of collaboration and shared leadership," Barrett said.

"He has built meaningful relationships with students, parents and teachers throughout his career and will be an asset to our Gahanna-Jefferson community."

In his position at Columbus City Schools, Graves has been supervising 26 elementary schools.

He also served as teacher, principal and curriculum director in Columbus.

Graves received his bachelor's degree in public administration from Franklin University and obtained his master's degree in elementary education from Ohio State University.

He also holds an Elementary Principal Professional License (K-8) and a Superintendent Professional License (K-12) for the state of Ohio.

Graves was one of 48 candidates who applied for the position, said Judy Hengstebeck, the district's communications coordinator.

Fifteen teachers and staff participated in final interviews with the candidates and provided valuable input, she said.

"I look forward to building relationships with the students, staff and parents as we work together to provide our students with a high-quality learning experience," Graves said.