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How to Choose a New Principal - The Process and a Student's Perspective


How are new school principals selected? If you had attended last Thursday's meeting at Apopka High School you would have learned all about it from a PowerPoint presentation entitled "OCPS Principal Selection Process 2015-16."

The process involves five steps, but, as those in attendance learned, "At any time during this entire process, the superintendent may select a candidate who she feels best fits the need of the school, thus ending the process."

Last Thursday's meeting was part of Step 2, "Meet with Parents." Only a handful of people attend the meeting. The group included one Apopka High School student, freshman-going-on-sophomore Chris Tater. He provided The Apopka Voice with this perspective:

"From a student's perspective, I want to see several things in our new principal.

One of the major one of these is student interaction, and in that, I would request several things. One: for him to actively participate in teaching. Whether it be filling in for a teacher when there weren't enough subs (during which sessions we would all sit in the auditorium).

Two: Allowing students to, at the very least, comment on school policies in say semester-based or annual forums.

Three: Just simply more --well, interaction. During my tenure as a freshman, barring a few instances, his only visible purpose was being another administrator yelling at us in the halls to put away our headphones, and the occasional reverent allusion from a teacher.

In short, I want him to be more than a generic authority figure, and instead, an actual person regarded by the students."

Christine Moore, District 7 OCPS School Board Member, told The Apopka Voice that the name of the new Apopka High School Principal might be announced at tomorrow's School Board meeting.

The entire process is outlined below:

Step 1: Position is Advertised

Once an opening at a school has been determined, the position is advertised

All eligible principals and assistant principals in the pool receive an email

Everyone receiving the email meets minimum requirements for the position

Step 2: High School Office Conducts Principal Profile

High School Office meet with staff

High School Office meet with parents

Record qualities both groups are looking for in a candidate

Cannot discriminate based on race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, marital status, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other reason prohibited by law.

Step 3: High School Office Gathers Resumes

Receives resumes from interested sitting principals and assistant principals

Receives eligibility list from Personnel to ensure all candidates that applied have met minimum eligibility

Step 4: High School Office Creates Matrix

Matrix is created based upon the profile collection

High School Office matches resumes received to find those that best fit the profile

High School Office sorts first by sitting principals and then by interested assistant principals

Reference checks are conducted

Step 5: Panel Interview

Candidates are selected based upon the matrix from the profile

Panel interviews candidates

Panel recommends 3 candidates

High School Office takes 3 candidates to deputy superintendent

Deputy superintendent sets up interview with the 1-3 candidates with the superintendent

Superintendent selects candidate and submits name to School Board

The actual PowerPoint can be viewed here: OCPS Principal Selection



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