Thomas McKean High School Assistant Principal Brian Mattix was unanimously approved as the school's new principal by the Red Clay Board of Education Wednesday night.
The Red Clay school board voted 7-0 to applause during its meeting held in Warner Elementary School.
Mattix has been at McKean High for the last 11 years as a teacher, wrestling coach and assistant principal, with five years in the latter position. He will replace outgoing Principal Dr. Lisa Ueltzhoffer on July 1, the start of the new, 2014 fiscal year.
"I couldn't be more thrilled ," Mattix said after the meeting. "I love the McKean community, the staff. We're such a tight knit family. We've got so many exciting things going on. We've done great work together as a staff."
Mattix said McKean would continue to try to meet the needs of all its students.
He also hoped to reach out to the McKean alumni to help strengthen the Higlanders.
"We've got such a strong alumni base within the Pike Creek area," Mattix said. "I think that's a real big, untapped resource. We're going to bring a lot of folks home."
Ueltzhoffer told the Hockessin Community News that she had accepted the position of principal at Newark Charter School's new junior-senior high school. She also starts her new job in the summer.
"It was a very difficult decision to leave Red Clay Consolidated School District and McKean High School," Ueltzhoffer said. " I had envisioned spending the remainder of my career in the district ... . The prospect of opening Newark Charter Jr./Sr. High School provides a unique opportunity for me to utilize my skills while facing new challenges in the community where I live."
Mattix said he would use some of the leadership skills he learned from Ueltzhoffer.
"Lisa has been a great mentor," he said. "She and I worked side by side when I first came in. She helped me on this path to becoming an assistant principal and now principal.
"She leads with grace. She's extremely smart. And she has great poise. She knows how to make the hard decisions and also make people feel good.