District hopes to name SVHS principal in April
A new principal for Sonoma Valley High School could be named by sometime in April, but this time the school district is handling the search process in-house instead of employing a headhunting firm.
The new principal would replace Dino Battaglini who resigned last month.
Three years ago, a headhunting firm was brought in, with private money, to conduct a search. This time, the district is going to use some of the information the headhunters gleaned and do the search itself.
“The last time, the agency interviewed stakeholders to find the qualities they desired,” said school Superintendent Louann Carlomagno. “A lot of that legwork is already done. We have a lot of valuable information that we can build upon.”
The district is advertising the position in various professional job sites such as EdCal, a publication of the Association of California School Administrators, EDJOIN, which is an online site for public education, and other education associations.
The district will be accepting applications until Friday, March 15.
Carlomagno said this is a good time of year to be recruiting. “This is a prime time to be looking,” she said. “Although some of our best administrators and teachers were hired late.”
Loyal Carlon, the district’s human resource director agrees.
“The good news is that we’re advertising while administrators are looking,” he said. “There aren’t many ads in October, November and December.”
Once applications have been received, a screening committee composed of stakeholder representation will review applications with a goal of identifying 10 to 12 candidates for a initial interviews.
The potential candidates will be facing three rounds of interviews in the first two weeks of April.
In the first round, two panels of stakeholders will interview candidates who will each be asked to give a short presentation, view a videotaped high school lesson, provide feedback on that lesson and complete a timed writing prompt.
The first round will cull the candidates down to two or three who will move on to the next round.
In the second round, over a two- or three-day period, the candidates will visit the high school to tour the campus and be interviewed by panels of parents and community members, faculty members and students. The candidates will also interview with the cabinet, which is comprised of the deputy superintendent and the directors of student services, human resources and curriculum and instruction.
In the final round, the superintendent will review the results of the first two rounds and bring one or two candidates to the school board for an interview.
Carlomagno said the district would welcome any in-house candidates. “We want to be all inclusive,” she said.
When candidates apply, they will be sent an application packet along with a brochure about the community, the school district and the high school.
The new principal would start work on July 1.
While the district is looking for a new high school principal, it will also be looking for a new director of curriculum and instruction. Lynn Fitzpatrick, who was the director of curriculum and instruction, assumed the interim principal’s position but said she’s going to retire at the end of the school year.
Carlomagno said the process to hire a new director isn’t in place yet because of the need to nail down a hiring process for a principal.
There’s no deadline for applications for the curriculum and instruction position.
“The process won’t be quite as extensive as the principal’s search,” Carlomagno said. “But we’ll still do quite a bit.”
Human resources director Carlon said the district would be looking for somebody who can step right in to the position.
“Lynn set a quality bar,” he said. “We know the attributes we’re looking for.”