Consultants helping Homewood-Flossmoor High School find its next principal were pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of responses received from persons at four focus group sessions and through online surveys.
Consultants from BWP and Associates told members of the school board’s Personnel Committee on Monday, Dec. 5, that they were stunned when they got 680 online surveys.
“I have to say, pat yourselves on the back between all the information (sent) out to your constituents and stakeholders because you had, as of Saturday, 680 responses. That went really, really well; beyond fantastic,” said Mark Friedman of BWP.
“The fact that people went online, the fact that people came to meetings and the 680 responses truly gives you a nice sampling,” he added. “It gives us the vehicle to help screen the applicant pool, which is growing by the day.”
The focus groups and online surveys show the H-F community recognizes the excellent teaching staff, the many educational options and programs, community diversity, available resources and extensive extracurricular programs as strengths.
The new principal is expected to have strong communication and leadership skills, a cultural understanding and acceptance of the diverse H-F community, knowledge on how to create a collaborative environment and instructional leadership.
In a normal administrative search, one community focus group session is set. That H-F had four sessions attended morning, afternoon and evening says much about the H-F community, Friedman said.
BWP will sort through 50 to 60 applicant resumes when the screening process starts Dec. 20. From that pool, BWP will select a dozen likely candidates for in-person interviews. From that group, consultants will then select five or six candidates and submit the list to the H-F school board Jan. 17.
The board will then invite candidates to campus for interviews.
To date, Friedman said BWP is “happy with the quantity and quality of applicants,” but he expects once the survey results are posted to the H-F website, “it may help prospective candidates decide to submit their names for consideration” because the survey results will confirm that they fit the leadership style H-F wants in a principal.
“Just the sheer number of responses on the survey shouts out an involved community, ” Phil Ehrhardt of BWP said.