New Permanent High School Principal to be Hired by February

There will be a permanent principal on the job next school year at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School.

A new, permanent principal at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School could be hired by Feb. 1, according to Superintendent Michael Harvey.

John Hughes has been the school’s interim principal for the past two school years, since former principal Matt Fox left to become principal at Veterans Middle School in Marblehead. But Hughes, the retired principal from Natick High School, never intended to permanently be the principal.

“I fully intend to have someone hired by the beginning of February,” Harvey said. The deadline to apply is Dec. 17.

No specific salary is listed, only that it will be "commensurate with training and experience."

Since the job is posted to School Spring, a job website for teachers and educators where many have their resume already stored, about 30 applications have already been received.

“Some of those really aren’t qualified for the job,” Harvey said, noting that the site makes it very easy to apply. But those that are qualified will be asked to come in for an interview by the search committee.

Interviews will start in January and Harvey plans to announce finalists by Jan. 22.

From there, each of the three or four finalists will come to Hamilton-Wenham for public interviews and to spend a day at the school, much like the hiring process for school superintendent last year, Harvey said.

While it is still more than a month away, Harvey encourages parents, students and the public to take part in the public interviews and fill out feedback form for Harvey, who has the final decision on the hire.

“I do read them all,” Harvey said about the feedback forms.

Harvey said Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School is out in front of this year’s hiring process, which should help get top candidates.

“People have not accepted positions yet,” Harvey said.

The search committee will be led by Jennifer Clifford, principal of Cutler Elementary School and Tony Walsh, math curriculum leader for grades 6-12. Clifford and Walsh will work with Harvey to narrow down the candidate to decide which ones will come in for an interview. The committee will be a total of 12 members that will include high school faculty, students in grades 8-12 and parents from students in grades 8-12. Harvey said the remaining members of the committee have not been announced.

Last week, a “leadership profile survey” went out to faculty members and parents of students in grades 8-12 and a sampling of students in grades 8-12 that will help develop a profile for what the school wants in its next principal.

The survey was developed by districts officials with K12 Insight, a private company that districts have has contract with.

Before the end of December the search committee will go through the survey results and put together a leadership profile. The survey is open through Friday.


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