LAKEVIEW — Lake View High School has a new principal.
The Local School Council voted unanimously Wednesday to offer a contract to Scott Grens, a former Lake View English teacher who's served as interim principal since April.
"It is with great pride that I accept the position to serve as principal for Lake View High School, a school rich in history with a bright future," Grens said in a statement Thursday.
In late April, Principal Lilith Werner left abruptly after a tumultuous three-year run. Her critics alleged that the principal instilled a culture of paranoia and intimidation, and some sent anonymous letters to reporters, local officials and school council members.
Council members and administration never officially acted due to the letters' anonymity. Some said they had not personally seen proof of the alleged problems, while several staffers said the letter writers were a small group of "toxic" people.
At a community meeting this week, Grens said he hoped to make Lake View High School, 4015 N. Ashland Ave., more well-rounded and value-driven.
"I'm hesitant to give a clear, perfectly articulated, written-in-stone vision statement without engaging the staff first," Grens said, adding that he wanted to communicate openly with teachers and community members.
Grens taught English at the high school from 2008-2011, before serving as resident principal at Kenwood Academy High School from 2011-2012. Until this May, he was the assistant principal at George Westinghouse College Prep.
Grens said he left teaching because he thought he'd make a bigger impact as an administrator.
"I saw nothing but potential [in my students], but as a teacher, you only impact 150 kids," Grens said. "I have 1,400 in the building."
The educator said he planned on reaching out to Lakeview elementary schools to make sure children and parents viewed Lake View High School as a viable neighborhood option.
He'd also try to engage local businesses to create community partnerships.
"When you look at really high-functioning private schools," he said, "they usually have a principal and another position that's a CEO or fundraising personnel. We don't have that. That's my job as principal."