The final five candidates for the principal’s position at Homewood-Flossmoor High School will be on campus the week of Jan. 23.
The candidates will be welcomed to H-F by students, staff and community members. Each constituency group will spend time talking with the candidates to judge their strengths and areas for growth, said Jodi Bryant, director of human resources and public relations.
The visiting day will be divided between tours of H-F’s facilities and classrooms, discussions on school operations and meetings with six committees representing teachers; support and maintenance staffs; administrators; students; parents and community members; and representatives from regional groups.
Their input will be important to the school board as it reaches its decision in February on hiring the next principal.
Bryant said the school board members and Superintendent Von Mansfield will be interviewing the candidates at the end of the month.
“The final candidate will be offered a contract and it will be brought to the Board of Education in February,” Bryant added. “This is the timeline that we hope to adhere to barring any unforeseen circumstances.”
H-F has worked with BWP and Associates, a consulting firm that has helped the board develop criteria for the principal position.
The BWP job posting and advertisements drew nearly 70 applicants. BWP staff then selected top candidates for interviews. From those, the consultants selected the top five and presented these finalists to the school board at a special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
“We’re ready to pass the baton,” said Philip Ehrhardt of BWP. The search firm was on campus in November conducting listening sessions to hear what qualities parents and community members wanted in the next principal. It also developed a survey that had about 700 responses.
H-F has not had a full-time principal this school year. The board in a 5-2 vote dismissed Ryan Pitcock in June 2016. He had served as principal for eight years. The principal’s duties are being shared by two assistant principals and other staff members.
“The goal is still to make the (principal job) offer late winter or early spring,” said board member Gerald Pauling, who chairs the Personnel Committee.
The H-F board’s next meeting is Feb. 21 but Pauling wouldn’t say that board members will have a decision by then.
The board hasn’t set a salary for the principal job. Pauling said:
“From a conceptual standpoint, we want that salary figure to reflect favorably on the district, the candidate and the board, but we haven’t set a salary, and some of that (decision) will depend on the candidate’s qualifications.”