The day-long session includes a public forum
The search committee for a new principal for Liberty Bell High School has selected four candidates for a full day of interviews on Monday (Feb. 4).
The interview process includes a parent/community forum on Monday (Feb. 4) from 4 to 5:15 p.m. in the Liberty Bell library.
“We were very pleased with the strengths of the candidates,” said Anne Andersen, the district’s director of teaching and learning and coordinator of the district’s International Baccalaureate programs, who is a co-leader of the screening committee. They hoped to have three finalists, but there were four very strong applicants who fit the profile for the position, she said.
The district initially received 11 inquiries about the job. Nine candidates completed applications. They came from northwest states including Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho.
The day will start with an individual interview for each candidate by an eight-member panel of staff, parents and community members. That will be followed by a meeting with a parent focus group. Although the focus group will be facilitated by teachers, it’s a chance for parents to talk directly with the candidates, said Andersen.
Groups of students, accompanied by teachers, will lead each candidate on a tour of Liberty Bell and the Independent Learning Center (ILC).
Each finalist will complete a writing assignment and meet with Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable, although that meeting won’t be a formal interview.
At the Monday-afternoon forum for parents and interested community members, each candidate will have 15 minutes to answer a set of prepared questions, but there won’t be a question-and-answer session. The candidates will have a chance to review questions before the forum, which will be an opportunity to see how they communicate to a large group, said Andersen.
All participants in the interview process will convene at the end of the day to share feedback about each candidate.
The final step on Monday is for Andersen and screening committee co-chair Drew Simmons, director of teaching and learning for technology/categorical programs, to meet with Liberty Bell’s teacher-leadership team. They hope to reach a consensus for a recommendation to the superintendent. Venable will make a recommendation to the school board for their Feb. 22 meeting.
The screening committee used a series of principal attributes compiled from feedback from staff, parents and community members in categories such as the ability of each applicant to create a shared vision, to build a strong school culture and community, and to show instructional leadership.
The desirable qualities that emerged from that process include a principal who can translate the district’s vision to the high school and exhibit respect for the school community and for diverse perspectives, said Andersen. Additionally, people want a strong educator with a background in International Baccalaureate who supports the arts and technology and professional development for teachers. The desire for an administrator familiar with nontraditional and individualized approaches to learning, such as the internship and mentorship programs used at the ILC was also expressed.