Dear Barton Community: Thursday, May 29, 2014
Today, the Barton Leadership Council met with Associate Superintendent Cecilia Saddler (former South High principal) to discuss the process for hiring a new principal for Barton. We want to share with you what we learned as well as our hopes for some adjustments. Our overall goal is to get a principal who is a great match for Barton, someone who knows and will promote Open education and who supports and leads our teachers and children.
The District is working now to find a new principal for Barton and hopes to have someone in place by the end of June. As part of their district-wide succession planning process, the District has been building a pool of principal candidates since January, and they intend to select a new principal for Barton from this pool. To be in the pool, qualified candidates must pass an assessment that includes demonstrating skills in teacher coaching, classroom observation, budget analysis and more. Once in the pool, candidates are matched with the particular qualities and needs of a school. Finally, the Superintendent selects the person to fill the position. Per the District’s process, Barton parents and teachers will not participate in candidate interviews. Ms. Saddler believes there are people in this pool with the skill set and experience that match what Barton is looking for in a principal. This is the District’s current process at all K-8 and middle schools.
So how do we have input? Two years ago the District surveyed Barton parents in order to create a Leadership Profile for the principal position here. They asked the Leadership Council to bring this Profile up to date and resubmit it which we did this week. Ms. Saddler wants to find a person who has the skill set and experiences that match this profile. For the District’s purposes this Profile is our input into the principal selection process. [See the Leadership Profile...]
The Leadership Council made clear to Ms. Saddler this morning that we think it is imperative that parents and teachers are part of the interview process. We believe that a more inclusive hiring process leads to support of a new principal, a smoother transition, a productive partnership with the District and ultimately the strongest learning environment for our children. We recognize that teacher and parent input is only part of the hiring equation, however there is no replacement for these perspectives. Ms. Saddler heard our concerns and will discuss them with Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson. We believe Ms. Saddler supports Barton and is looking for a principal who will provide visionary leadership for us.
We have scheduled a Leadership Council Coffee for Monday morning, June 2, from 7:30 – 8:30 am in the Commons. We want to provide the opportunity for an in-person update and discussion. We believe that a new principal will be appointed soon.
Throughout this transition we want to do everything we can to keep the Barton community strong, to keep our sights on improving our Open school magnet program, and to support our teachers, staff and the new principal when s/he arrives.
Lori Zook-Stanley, Parent Co-chair, 2013-14
Julia Paulsen Mullin, Parent Co-chair, 2014-15
Cc: Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson and Associate Superintendent Cecilia Saddler