Big Walnut High School’s new principal, Andy Jados, came on board last week, and the first item on his agenda has been introducing himself to local folks. But Jados is almost a local himself.
He graduated from Westerville South in 1989 where he played basketball, and graduated from Ohio Dominican – where he also played basketball.
Jados substitute-taught for one year around central Ohio, and taught social studies at Hilliard for seven years while earning a master’s degree in school administration from Ashland University.
Jados was the dean of students at Pickerington and Pickerington North for seven years, went to Westerville South as an assistant principal for five years, and spent the past two years serving as principal at Franklin Heights High School.
“I really like Big Walnut,” Jados said during an interview last week, shortly after moving into his new office at the high school. “I grew up in the Westerville area and have always been impressed with the Big Walnut community. Everybody is always so supportive of their schools in the Big Walnut community.”
Asked about the massive residential and commercial growth hovering on Big Walnut’s horizon, Jados said it’s an exciting time for the community and the school district.
“I’m comfortable with the plans the superintendent and board of education have in place to handle the growth that’s coming this way, while keeping the community feel in place,” Jados said.
“Yesterday I walked around Sunbury Square to meet people,” Jados said. “I’ve been trying to set up meetings around the community and at the high school, to get to know the community, and trying to connect with as many people as possible.”
Jados said there were three interviews during the selection process before he was hired. In one interview, he met with parents, staff, and students. He said they all asked valid questions, but he was especially impressed with Big Walnut High School students.
Jados said education is about the students and in today’s world safety at school is always a concern.
“The first thing we need is a safe school environment, the second thing is quality instruction,” Jados said. “Community involvement is key, and the parental support here is impressive. We’ll continue to reach out to parents in every way possible, and if any parent has any questions or is uncomfortable with anything, don’t hesitate to give me a call.”
Jados said he’s ready to launch the 2015-16 school year.
“From everything I’ve seen so far, this will be an excellent school year,” Jados said. “I’m looking forward to interacting with the students, I’m very impressed with our staff — how committed and focused they are, and their high expectations.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093