The Westerville City School District has five new elementary school principals for the coming school year, although several aren't new to the district.

MeganRose Forman-McCaulla, 39, is the new principal of Hanby Elementary School, 56 S. State St.

Former principal Monica Brown accepted a position with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, said Greg Viebranz, Westerville's executive director of communications and technology.

Forman-McCaulla served as an interim principal with Westerville three months last year while Annehurst Elementary School's principal was on maternity leave, Viebranz said.

Forman-McCaulla has a one-year contract with the district at an annual salary of $91,000, plus a benefits package valued at approximately $38,525, said Karli Collins, human resources specialist.

Forman-McCaulla taught kindergarten, first and third grades in the Big Walnut Local Schools over nine years before accepting a principal's role at Hylen Souders Elementary School.

She worked three years at Souders before transitioning to General Rosecrans Elementary School, where she was principal for three years.

"I stepped away from that role to stay at home with my children until the spring, (when) I accepted an interim principal position at Annehurst Elementary," she said.

Outside the public education sector, Forman-McCaulla said, she has taught English in Japan, played soccer in Europe, spent time in India and Thailand and assisted in developing an early-childhood program in Park City, Utah.

She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2002 with a degree in early-childhood education and a minor in psychology.

Forman-McCaulla also has a master's degree in educational administration from Ashland University.

She and her husband, Jeremy McCaulla, have five children: Tyler, Gabriel, Rosemary, William and Sterling.

They reside in Sunbury and enjoy hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing and gardening.

Hawthorne

Former Walnut Springs assistant principal Ernest Clinkscale is the new principal at Hawthorne Elementary School, 5001 Far-View Drive, Columbus, principal.

Former Hawthorne principal Angie Ervin took a district-level administrative position with another school district, Viebranz said.

Clinkscale, 44, has been working in the Westerville district the past five years as Walnut Springs assistant principal.

Clinkscale has a two-year contract with an annual salary of $91,000 and a benefits package valued at about $38,525, Collins said.

This will be his 22nd year in education.

"In my past, I have worked as a classroom teacher in grades 3-8, curriculum coach as well as an administrator," Clinkscale said. "Before coming to Westerville, I spent the majority of my career in Columbus City Schools."

In Columbus, he served as a middle school teacher, math intervention curriculum specialist, coach, and vice principal at Monroe Middle School/Champion Middle School.

His leadership experience also includes serving two years as vice principal of Samuel Kennedy Elementary School in Elk Grove Unified School District in California and completing a Leadership Internship program with Columbus City Schools in 2006-07.

The Youngstown native graduated from Ohio University in 1998 with a degree in elementary education.

He has a master's degree from Ashland University in curriculum and instruction.

Clinkscale's administrative graduate work was completed at California State University in Sacramento, California.

"Westerville City Schools has always been a desired destination for me," he said. "The community, the school board as well as the district administration (have) been so supportive and welcoming.

"We are all on the same page with regards of doing all we can to reach all of our students and families in a positive manner."

He and his wife, Nicole, a second-grade teacher in the Columbus City Schools, have a 5-year-old daughter, Elissa. They reside in Columbus.

Pointview

David Bennett, 50, is the new principal of Pointview Elementary School, 720 Pointview Drive.

Former Pointview principal Sherry Birchem accepted a position as director of office of learning and instructional strategies for the Ohio Department of Education earlier this year.

Bennett has a one-year contract with an annual salary of $92,000 and a benefits package of approximately $38,506, Collins said.

The Pickerington resident comes to Westerville from the Chillicothe City Schools, where he served as principal of Chillicothe Intermediate School.

His previous administrative experience includes serving as an elementary school principal in Indianapolis Public Schools and Albuquerque Public Schools

Bennett also has 19 years of classroom teaching experience, primarily in vocal music and general music, he said.

He has a bachelor's degree in music education from Ohio State University, a master's in music from Illinois State University and a master's in educational leadership from the University of Dayton.

Bennett said he enjoys spending time with family, cooking and traveling.

He said he wanted to join the Westerville school district because it is full of caring and dedicated educators who work hard to ensure that students continue to enjoy a rich tradition of excellence in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.

Bennett and his wife, Dione, are the parents of two daughters: Andrea and Alexandria.

Emerson, Longfellow

Former Genoa Middle School assistant principal Chris Poynter is the new principal at Longfellow, 120 Hiawatha Ave., and Emerson, 44 N. Vine St., elementary schools.

Former principal Chris Doolittle retired.

Poynter, 39, has been with the Westerville district since 2007.

He has a two-year contract with an annual salary of $90,000 and a benefits package of about $38,081, Collins said.

"I started in WCS in 2007 teaching health and physical education at Westerville North after graduating from Wright State University, though most people know me as the tattoo-covered Marine Corps veteran," Poynter said.

In 2012, Poynter changed positions and buildings, moving to Hawthorne to teach English as a Second Language.

He has worked in the role of assistant principal at Genoa Middle School for the past two years.

Poynter has a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Wright State University, a master's degree in the art of teaching from Marygrove College, a master's degree in educational leadership and administration from Ohio Dominican University and a special-education license/endorsements from Otterbein University.

"Emerson and Longfellow have such history and nostalgia attached to them that I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to be a part of it," he said.

Poynter and his wife, Allison, have a son, Jack, who will be a kindergartner this year at Wilder Elementary School.

Whittier

Former Huber Ridge Elementary School assistant principal Andrew (AJ) Hoffman is the new principal at Whittier Elementary School, 130 E. Walnut St.

Former Whittier principal Cheryl Relford accepted a district-level position as director of elementary curriculum.

Hoffman, 35, has been with the district since 2017 and previously served as principal of Hylen Souders Elementary School in Big Walnut Local Schools.

Hoffman has a two-year contract with the district at an annual salary of $90,000, plus a benefits package of about $38,026, Collins said.

"I am incredibly excited to work alongside the amazing students, staff and community at Whittier," he said. "They have seen so much success in preparing students as learners and I look forward to helping to carry those successes forward."

Hoffman said a tradition of excellence has been built and everyone will work collaboratively to maintain the high standards students have come to expect.

"I am excited to welcome our community back to the building and inspire each student to achieve their highest potential," he said.

Hoffman brings nine years of educational leadership experience to the role and holds his master's degree in educational administration, as well as his bachelor's degree in teacher education from Ohio State.

The Westerville resident said he shares custody of 4-year-old James with his mother, Anna.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

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