Westerville City School District Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg today announced that he will be recommending to the Board of Education the employment of Michael W. Starner as principal of Westerville South High School (WSHS) and Wesley D. Elifritz as athletic director of Westerville North High School (WNHS).
“We recently completed for each of these positions a thorough screening of candidates and an interview process that included staff and community members from these respective schools,” Kellogg said. “I’m pleased to recommend these two quality individuals to the Board for employment and look forward to them joining our district leadership team.”
Michael Starner is a Columbus-area native who has spent his entire 22-year education career in central Ohio. Starner taught social studies in the Hilliard City Schools for 11 years and subsequently spent five years as an assistant principal at both Hilliard Davidson High School and Hilliard Bradley High School. From Hilliard City Schools he joined the South-Western City School District as principal of Grove City High School, a position he has held since 2010.
Starner said he always has admired the tradition of excellence and overall presence of Westerville Schools, which contributed to his decision to apply for the WSHS principal position.
“With a focus on student achievement and rigor through an array of programs for student success, it’s obvious that academic growth, and achievement, is a priority,” Starner said. “In addition, the traditions, linking the community to the school, are of great importance. Being a Wildcat is meaningful and relevant to the students, staff, and community members. The pride associated with it is clear to anyone who visits.”
Starner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University, his teacher licensure through Capital University, and his Master of Arts from The Ohio State University. He also holds his principal and superintendent licensure through The Ohio State University.
“Mr. Starner not only possess the leadership skills required to manage the day-to-day operations of a large high school, but he brings a strong academic foundation to the position as well,” Kellogg said. “He has successfully implemented programs that support the professional development of teachers and academic achievement of students. The results of these initiatives include expanded Advanced Placement offerings for students, an increased Performance Index score from the state, and a doubling of the number of AP tests taken by students.”
Presently an assistant athletic director in the Mount Vernon City Schools, Wesley Elifritz’s interest in education and athletics stretches back nearly 20 years when he worked as a student assistant athletic director at Miami East High School. He has served as an assistant coach of the Mount Vernon Nazarene University Women’s Basketball program and was the school’s student director of intramural athletics program.
As the varsity girls basketball coach at Fredericktown High School, Elifritz was named the 2012-13 Division 3 Central District Coach of the Year and earned other honors for the improvements and successes he brought to the program. He presently is a health and physical education teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School while serving as department head for the school’s Unified Arts Department.
Elifritz said that he is motivated, confident and excited to help the WNHS athletic program succeed.
“I see this opportunity as a very special opportunity,” Elifritz said. “My ability to be extremely organized and communicate effectively with administration, coaches, parents and student-athletes will allow me to excel in this position.”
Elifritz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Management and a Master of Education from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He earned his administrative licensure from the University of Cincinnati.
“I’m very excited to work with Mr. Elifritz,” said WNHS Principal Kurt Yancey. “He brings a lot to the table and I look forward to the future of our athletic program under his leadership.”
The WCSD Board of Education will vote on the employment of Starner and Elifritz during its next regular meeting at 6 p.m. on June 27, 2016, at the WCSD Early Learning Center, 936 Eastwind Drive, Westerville.