Superintendent Scot Stockwell offers plan to appoint temporary principal until January recruiting efforts launch

The St. Helens School District will likely hire an interim principal to oversee St. Helens High School during the 2017-18 school year.

Superintendent Scot Stockwell announced his plan to district staff by email Friday, July 21, to select an interim principal from a pool of experienced applicants. He hopes to have some selected for the job within two weeks.

Several weeks after high school Principal BG Aguirre resigned from the district, Stockwell looked to the school board for support in appointing an interim administrator during a meeting on July 12.

During the meeting, Stockwell said he wanted to have someone appointed to the position this year to serve in the position until the job can be advertised, and resultant applicants interviewed, in January.

Stockwell, in an email to the Spotlight, explained there are unofficial seasons that exist when it comes to hiring staff in the education field. Administrators typically begin looking for new work opportunities in the winter, he stated, and potential applicants might not be looking for new work opportunities during the summer months, he added.

"Most quality applicants are not looking for positions in the summer as they are already focused on the upcoming school year," Stockwell stated. "Finally, it is important to involve as many stakeholders as possible in such a hire and it is often difficult to do that over the summer."

Stockwell said he has reviewed a list of applicants who were recommended for the job, and said he will appoint one person who is "an excellent fit for the school" to the position. Stockwell said criteria for selection is previous experience as a high school principal and, secondarily, the ability to build relationships quickly within the district.

Aguirre left the district June 23 after she accepted a position with Portland Public Schools as an elementary school principal at Skyline K-8 in Northwest Portland. Aguirre was first hired with the district in 2008 as an assistant principal, and was tapped as the head principal in 2013.

In late spring the school district underwent a lengthy process to recruit and hire for a principal at Columbia City Elementary School, which is reopening this fall. The building's planning principal, Lisa Rawlings, retired from the district as an administrator, but will continue to work sporadically as the district's director of federal programs.

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