That’s according to Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who told WRFA last Thursday that the process of reviewing prospective candidates started earlier this year and a list of just over a dozen has been put together.
“We put out postings in New York and Pennsylvania. We’ve had 16 applicants whose applications were filled out in the entirety. We’ll start doing interviews [the week of April 1] and we want to bring a candidate to the board in May.”
The school district is searching for a new principal at the high school because current principal Michael McElrath will be leaving the position to serve as principal of the district’s new Success Academy, which will open in the fall.
Apthorpe said that as the school board begins vetting candidates this week, it will be considering several factors when making their choice.
“Are they somebody who has connections to the community? Do they have a sense of value of the culture of our community? And who’s an expert in guiding a high school like Jamestown’s?” Apthorpe said.
“Jamestown, sadly, is in the lowest 10 percent of schools across New York in terms of student achievement,” he continued. “And what we’ve been doing internally is looking at, literally hundreds of schools, who have worse poverty than Jamestown but yet are high-achieving academically. In the entire district, all of our administrators are going through transformational leadership training. How do we transform our cultures to mirror these hundreds of cultures that are high performing with high poverty. So the new principal would have to come in having the skill set to be able to do that.”
Apthorpe said the district hopes to have a new principal for the high school appointed by July 1, which is the beginning of the new school year.