There field of applicants to become the next permanent principal at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School has been winnowed down to 10 people, according to Superintendent Dr. Michale Harvey.
All of those candidates are from Massachusetts and currently work as either a high school principal or assistant principal, Harvey said. All of them will be invited in for an interview.
Harvey will make the final decision on who will take over at the school starting on July 1, but he has assembled as advisory committee that will help interview the candidates. He said previously he plans to make a decision by early February.
Harvey met on Wednesday with the advisory committee's co-chairmen, Jennifer Clifford, principal of Cutler Elementary School and Tony Walsh, math curriculum leader for grades 6-12, to bring the candidate field down to 10.
Each of those 10 candidates will be interviewed over the course of several evenings starting on Jan. 8, Harvey said, before he plans to name two or three finalists on Jan. 12.
"The finalists will each be invited to spend a day at the (high school), and a team from the District will make a site visit to their current school," Harvey said.
The interviews will be conducted by a 14 member advisory committee, made up of three members of the school district administrative team, five members of the high faculty, four high school parents and two current high school students.
"I would like to avoid any possibility of someone trying to unduly influence a Search Committee Member, so I do not want to release their names until after the interviews have taken place," Harvey said.
The committee will use the results of a “leadership profile survey” from faculty members and parents of students in grades 8-12 and a sampling of students in grades 8-12 that will outline what teachers, parents and students want in its next principal.
The new hire will replace John Hughes, the school’s interim principal for the past two school years. Hughes is the retired principal of Natick High School and never intended to permanently be the principal. The decision was made to fill the position on an interim basis, and then extend it by another year, by former Interim Superintendent Peter Gray, who wanted a new permanent superintendent to make the pick. Hughes started at the start of the 2011-12 school year after former principal Matt Fox left to become principal at Veterans Middle School in Marblehead.
No salary for the position has been set, and the employment ad said only that it would be "commensurate with training and experience."
The fiscal 2014 budget has $220,000 budgeted for the salary for both the principal and assistant principal.