Planning begins for principal search

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008
— Superintendent Tom Evert said he hopes to have a new Parker High School principal chosen by July 1.

Evert said Monday afternoon that he had not yet decided whether to conduct an upper-Midwest search for the new principal, as has been common practice, or to limit the search to district staff.

“The advantage of doing the School District of Janesville search is it greatly accelerates the timeline,” Evert said. “The disadvantage could be that your pool of candidates is not as deep as you’d like.”

Parker Principal Dale Carlson found out Friday that he will be the new superintendent at Holmen, a small school district in western Wisconsin.

Carlson is finishing his ninth year as Parker’s principal.

“The principal is crucial to promoting student achievement,” Evert said. “It’s a very, very important job.”

Evert said the search process begins with a list of 13 characteristics that have been found through research to be indicators of a successful principal. Parker staff members will be asked to rate those characteristics, and that prioritized list becomes one of the selection criteria.

Evert said he and Steve Johnson, the district’s director of administrative and human resources, will review the applications and select the candidates to be interviewed.

If it’s an internal search, three to five candidates will be interviewed, Evert said. If a regional search, seven to 10.

Meanwhile, an interview team of 10 to 12 people will be formed. The team will include parents, teachers, central-office staff, other community members and—for a high school search—a student or two, Evert said.

The committee will develop a list of 25 to 30 questions to ask candidates.

The committee will compile a list of strengths and weaknesses for Evert, who will determine which candidates move to the next step—an interview with selected Parker staff members, Evert and Johnson.

Evert will make the final choice to recommend to the school board. The board has always approved Evert’s recommendations.


A history of Parker High School principals, from Janesville Gazette files:

1967—Parker opens with Hugh Horswill as principal. Horswill had been vice principal at Janesville High School for 12 years. He had taught social studies at JHS.

1978—Bill Reis, a social studies teacher at Parker, is named assistant principal.

1979—Reis is named principal when Horswill retires.

1995—Reis hires Dale Carlson, a math teacher who had taught most recently in La Crosse, to be an assistant principal at Parker.

1998—Reis leaves to become superintendent of the Delavan-Darien School District. Steve Johnson, the school district's director of administrative and human services, fills in as Parker principal for the 1998-99 school year.

1998-99—Four job postings fail to turn up a satisfactory candidate. A final search is limited to district employees. Three apply, and all are high school assistant principals: Carlson, Steve Schroeder of Parker and Monte Phillips of Craig High School. Schroeder and Phillips still hold those positions.

1999—Carlson is named Parker Principal.

2008—The Holmen School District, near La Crosse, names Carlson its new superintendent.

Last updated: 9:12 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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