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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Process for Hiring a new Elementary Principal

Posted by Wayne Anderson in General  |  Post a comment

It is said that “all good things must come to an end”; in some ways, this saying is appropriate as the Williams Bay School District prepares to find a new elementary principal. Ms. Isaacson has faithfully served the school district as its elementary principal for the past twenty-five (25) years and will retire at the end of this school year. I have been able to work with her closely for the past four years and have seen first-hand how much she cares for her staff, students and the entire Williams Bay community. When we asked the staff to provide us with the characteristics and talents that they would like to see in their new leader they were almost unanimous in their response – please find us someone exactly like Ms. Isaacson. Their praise and dedication spoke volumes about how much they respected her leadership.

In preparing to find our new elementary principal, the Board of Education started the process with a review of the Elementary Principal’s job description. We wanted to make sure that the job description matched the skills, talents and attributes that we were looking for in our new elementary leader. At the beginning of the school year, I reviewed the current job description and made suggested modifications. In November, the Board of Education held a meeting with all elementary staff to get their feedback on the qualities and characteristics they felt would be valuable in their new principal. I then took the information provided at this meeting and made some additional changes to the job description. On December 12, 2016, the Board of Education approved the new elementary principal job description.

About one week prior to Winter Break, I posted the job opening on WECAN. WECAN is an educational job database where employers post educational openings and interested candidates submit the required materials. In the application process, interested candidates provide the district with a cover letter of application, a resume, educational transcripts, letters of reference and answers to a series of essay questions about why they want to become our next elementary principal and their opinions on various educational topics. At the end of the application process, the district had received fifty (50) applicants for the position.

On Saturday, January 28, the Board of Education and I reviewed all of the applicants and selected ten (10) to be contacted for the first round of interviews. The first round of interviews will be held on Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10. The initial interview team will be made up of two Board members, Dr. White, five elementary staff, two community members and myself. The goal of the first interview team will be to select the top three or four candidates for a second round of interviews.

The second round of interviews will be held during the week of February 13 – 17. The second interview team will be composed of the five Board members and myself. After this round of interviews, the Board will select the individual that they would to lead our elementary school upon Ms. Isaacson’s retirement. Once the candidate is selected, I will do reference and background checks on the final candidate. If these checks solidify our selection, I will start working out an acceptable contract with the individual based on the contract parameters set forth by the Board of Education.

If everything goes according to plan, the Board of Education will announce the new elementary principal during the week of March 6 – March 10 and will formally approve the hire at its March 13, 2017 Board of Education meeting.

The new principal will then officially start his/her position on July 1, 2017. One of the Board of Education’s most important roles is the selection of district leadership. Our school district has been very fortunate to have Ms. Isaacson as our elementary leader for the past twenty-five years and she will be sorely missed. However, I am confident that we will be able to find a new elementary leader who will build on Ms. Isaacson’s success and leave his/her own mark on the educational future of our school district.


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