A new principal is coming to Hauser Jr./Sr. High School.

David Wintin, a principal for two years at South Ripley High School, was at the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. Board meeting Tuesday to watch board members unanimously approve him to replace J.P. Mayer, who stepped down for personal reasons to become the school's dean.

With fewer than two weeks until the start of the school year, Wintin said he would waste no time introducing himself to teachers and begin building a sense of what makes Hauser unique.

"Its geography and size appealed to me," he said after the meeting. "I'm excited to get started."

Hauser Superintendent Shawn Price said 16 candidates applied for the principal's position, out of which a committee selected five for interviews. Ultimately, it was Wintin's 35 years of experience as an educator and administrator in a similarly sized school that put him over the top.

Price said Wintin had a "long trail" of references who have admired his work.

That body of work started 33 years ago.

Wintin, 62, who grew up in Seymour, said he became a high school teacher in 1984 at New Palestine, then became principal in 2009 at Eastern High School in Pekin. He followed that with another principal's job at South Ripley High School in 2012.

Two years later, his wife, Carol, retired as a teacher.

Wintin stepped back from teaching as well, only to flirt with a return after hearing about the Hauser opening.

"We were on vacation in Florida when I heard about it," he said, laughing. "I shot Shawn an email and got my daughter to send a copy of my resume."

Wintin returned to Indiana on a Monday and interviewed with the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. the next day.

He will continue to live in New Palestine, he said, but is happy that he will remain close to family. That family consists of his wife of 39 years; a son and two daughters, who are all grown adults; four grandchildren; and a mother who lives in Seymour.