Pioneer High School principal position reposted to find 'best fit' candidate
“Dr. (Superintendent Patricia) Green felt like she really wanted to make sure that the candidate that is selected for the job is the best fit for the school,” said district spokeswoman Liz Margolis.
“While she hasn’t ruled out some of the finalists in the first round, she decided to open it back up to see what other individuals are out there.”
New applicants have until Oct. 16 to apply, according to the posting.
AAPS first posted the position in July, after former Principal Michael White retired from the district to take a job in Illinois. Assistant Principal Kevin Hudson was appointed to serve as interim head principal.
The district fielded 41 applications in its first attempt to fill the seat. Margolis said this number could be considered “kind of low for a prominent comprehensive high school that’s highly regarded in the state.”
She said the timing — posting the position in July — could have contributed to the small applicant pool. Often July, which is the start of most school district’s fiscal years, is when administrators start new jobs with new districts.
An interview committee narrowed down the initial principal search to two candidates in August and subsequently submitted the names of the candidates to Green for consideration.
Michele Macke, a math teacher at the high school, spoke out about the hiring process at Wednesday’s school board meeting. She said the amount of time it’s taken to fill the position now has had “some pretty serious repercussions for Pioneer staff and students.”
With Hudson filling in as head principal, high school math teacher Robert Klemmer was moved into the assistant principal’s role. Macke said the math department hired a substitute teacher but struggled to find someone who could teach Klemmer’s calculus classes.
As a result, the department had to shuffle a number of students around on Sept. 28 to make sure they had an experienced calculus teacher. More than 300 students were impacted and received new math teachers just a few weeks into school, Macke said.
“It does seem like the (hiring) process is moving forward again but I did feel like I needed to come to speak tonight on behalf of those 300 kids,” she said Wednesday. “Because of the adults’ failure to get things done in a timely fashion it hurt those kids, and that’s not right.”