James Donnelly’s loss was Granville school’s gain Monday night as the high school principal “lost” his interim status, and was named the permanent principal of Granville Junior Senior High School.
Board of Education President John Steves announced the board decided Donnelly would be hired full-time at an executive session held prior to the Monday night meeting.
Steves said the board felt Donnelly had “impressive credentials and good ideas” so they chose to act sooner rather than later.
“We felt and feel that he has demonstrated he is a top notch principal; he’s got the support of the teachers and the staff, everyone seems to feel that he’s a good leader. We felt that rather than let his (interim) term run out and risk the possibility of having to look at someone else, we felt he was a good candidate for our situation and it ended with what we did last night,” Steves said.
“It was an honor to be asked,” Donnelly said after the meeting.
“Frankly I had an opportunity to go in a different direction, but I’ve really just fallen in love with the community here and with the work that has to be done and the board asked if I would stay on a permanent basis and I said yes,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly said he was pleased to be continuing in his role at Granville.
“I think that Granville is in a place where we can do some great things. I think there are certainly some challenges and some struggles, but I think that there is an opportunity really for this faculty to shine and show their professionalism and I think that as we educate ourselves and the community we’ll see some great improvement in the next couple of years,” Donnelly said.
The coming challenges of meeting state standards, renewing an emphasis on academics and improving student performance was something Donnelly said figured prominently in his calculation when determining if he wanted to remain in Granville.
“It’s a combination of, I like the challenge, but at the same time I also appreciate the people and I think that the faculty in the high school, I think there’s good, hard-working people and I think that as we learn how to work, not so much harder as maybe smarter (the district will see success),” Donnelly said.
Donnelly said he also wants to begin to “recognize the kids in a different way”. “The efforts to do positive recognition of our students and really recognize the good that’s there and give them an incentive to go beyond where they are – the academic G, the Student of the Month award that we’re creating, the volunteerism program that we’re going to be unveiling in the future – we want to instill and motivate kids to see a vision of themselves, so that’s exciting to me and that’s why I got into this business is to help kids and then help our teachers to really make the changes in the lives of our kids to help them,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly will be paid a pro-rated salary of $96,000 for the remainder of the year. Donnelly was hired as interim principal earlier this year after the resignation of Scott Bojanich, who left to take a person in Virginia.