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2013-2014 Leadership Council News

The Barton Leadership Council is comprised of parents and staff members who meet once or twice a month to identify school improvement priorities, guide overall staffing, program and budget decisions, plan and implement fundraising activities, and encourage broad participation from all members of the school community.

Council meetings are held on Thursdays in the Media Center. Meeting times will alternate between 4:30-6:00 PM and 6-7:30 PM. See the Barton School Calendar for specific dates and times.

All meetings are open to any member of the Barton community. 

Agenda planning takes place the week prior to each scheduled Thursday meeting.  If you have a question, issue or concern that you would like the Council to address, please contact a representative on the Council or the principal.

Process to hire new Principal: Council Coffee, Monday morning, 7:30 am
Friday, May 30, 2014 7:55 PM

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

Thursday, May 29, 2014 11:45 AM

Thank you to all of you who completed and returned the Endorsement Ballot for next year's Leadership Council. The rate of return -- 238 adults casting endorsements -- allowed for an inclusive process. All of the parent candidates, new and returning, were endorsed and will, along with students and staff, form the Council next year. The new Council will begin its work with the commencement of the school year in the fall.

Next year's Leadership Council will have two staff co-chairs, Kristin Sonquist and Nasra Hassan, and one parent co-chair, Julia Paulsen Mullin.

The new parent Council members for 2014-2015 include: Jeff Bair, Kadhar Elmi, Shamsa Farah, Kori Hennessey, Tom Hockenberry, Patrick Hynes, Amy Kennedy, Stephanie Malcy, Mel Muller, Fiona Pradhan, Christian Proetz, Virajita Singh, Sara Stenzel, and Rob Walstead.

The parents returning to Council involvement include: Jennifer Bennett, Andrea Breen, Sheila Eldred, Katherine Harter, Kris Johnson, Kevin Kinneavy, Kristi Smith Knutson, Sarah Lahm, Julia Paulsen Mullin, Anjula Razdan, and Lori Zook-Stanley.

In the next few days a link will be posted with parent Council members statements and photos.

THANK YOU to those who are committed to serving on the Leadership Council, and THANK YOU to all who participated in the endorsement process!

Final Leadership Council Meeting of the Year
Friday, May 16, 2014 11:25 AM

The Leadership Council of 2013-2014 met for their final meeting of the year. A gathering of students, staff and parents acknowledged a year of efforts and accomplishments. Items of business included the following:

  • Council Endorsement Process: Ballots went home in backpacks this week and are due back to teachers or the front office on Friday, May 23. Many new parents submitted statements for endorsement, and we are all excited about the new possibilities with next year's group. We discussed ways to encourage a high rate of return of the ballots; the more people return the ballots, the more inclusive the process can be. The new Council will be published the week of May 27.
  • Barton Foundation Update: Outgoing Foundation Board Chair Steve Richter gave an overview of the budget and fundraising process, and led a discussion on several budget items.
  • Working Groups: We briefly reviewed the structure of working groups that we will initiate next year. These will consist of both Council and non-Council parents, with the hopes of increasing transparency, accessibility and efficiency of Council functioning. The Council voted to return to a two-hour monthly meeting, and to change the meeting to a set time of 4:30 - 6:30 pm.
  • Principal's Report: Patrick updated the Council on some school improvements, issues and questions.
Leadership Council Ballots for 2014-2015
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 9:20 AM

Please check your child's backpack yesterday and today for the packet to endorse your Leadership Council for next school year, 2014-2015. We have many new and veteran candidates to create a rich and varied Council. It is important that we all vote, and this is why: the process is designed for INCLUSIVITY and requires a good rate of return to be inclusive. We want anyone who wants to be on the Council to be able to participate. Each adult in the household gets to vote for 10 different people. Please complete the ballot and return it to your teacher by MAY 23!! Thanks for your active participation!!  Link to Ballot

Barton Leadership Council Seeks New Parents
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:40 AM
Leadership Council Meeting Update, 4/24/14
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:00 AM
Community/Council Coffee Talk
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:20 AM
Leadership Council News, December 12, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 10:00 AM