The Barrington School District is approaching the end of this school year with a handful of administrative openings scattered among the central office and every grade level.
The list of current positions that had yet to be filled as of last week included the district’s assistant superintendent, a Barrington High School assistant principal, Barrington Middle School principal, Hampden Meadows principal and Nayatt Elementary School principal.
Each position has become open at varying stages over the last year; each respective hiring process is at varying stages of completion.
The lengthiest vacancy of any local position is that of Nayatt Elementary School Principal.
About a week before the school year began, Gail Keith, who had been pegged to become the new Nayatt principal, resigned. The school has subsequently been led by a pair of retired educators, each of whom served a semester on an interim basis.
This position is one of the closest to being filled. Barrington School Committee Chairman Patrick Guida said two rounds of interviews have been completed for the post and he anticipates the committee is getting close to making a decision.
The same can be said about the middle school principal position.
In late March, long-time BMS Principal Richard Wheeler announced his retirement and has since accepted a position as principal of Dighton Middle School in Massachusetts.
Mr. Guida said two rounds of interviews for this position have also been completed and, much like Nayatt, a decision could be made soon.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Hampden Meadows principal position.
With out-going principal Arlene Miguel only recently announcing her retirement intentions — she will soon begin a new tenure as principal of Palmer River Elementary School in Massachusetts — the process of naming a successor is still in the stage of receiving applications.
Mr. Guida said the initial screening of applicants is conducted by screening committees at each school, which include membership from a variety of stakeholders, such as parents.
At Barrington High School, for example, principal Joseph Hurley said the screening committee for the assistant principal position has included himself, a teacher, students, a community member, the high school’s other assistant principal and central office staff, among others.
Mr. Hurley said the application period for the position has closed with 71 candidates submitting resumes, at least a half dozen of which have received preliminary interviews.
Mr. Hurley said the goal is to have a couple of candidates to forward to the school committee before the end of the school year this Thursday.
Mr. Hurley said one reason for wanting to fill the position as quickly as possible is an assumption that candidates applying for the Barrington post have likely submitted their names for consideration elsewhere. One of the high school’s two assistant principal positions has been open since mid-March when Lonnie Morris resigned after being placed on administrative leave.
Mr. Hurley said the hiring process is also underway for a number of teaching positions vacated through leaves of absence and retirements.
At the central office, the application period was still open last week for assistant superintendent. This opening stems from the school committee’s decision to name current assistant superintendent Michael Messore III as the new superintendent. Current superintendent Robert McIntyre announced he would retire at the end of this year. In mid-April , the committee named Mr. Messore as his successor.
Mr. Guida said the goal is to have all the openings filled by the time school starts in late August. Among the openings, Mr. Guida said the Hampden Meadows principal position may be the most challenging because of its timeline.
Filling the respective posts will also bring about a slight change in the committee’s summer meeting schedule.
Traditionally, the group only meets for planning purposes. This summer, however, the committee will meet to make decisions on filling the various openings in addition to a series of sessions aimed at establishing a district-wide strategic plan.
Despite the breadth of openings facing the district, Mr. Guida said he isn’t concerned about any potential impact on candidate quality.
“We’re not going to compromise our standards under any circumstances,” he said.
Editor’s note: The School Committee was scheduled to meet on Tuesday, June 19, after the time of this publication. One of the item’s on the meeting’s agenda was “Personnel.”