A search committee tasked with finding a new principal for Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) has received applications from 12 candidates. The principal's job was advertised in print and online in local and regional newspapers and national educator publications, as well as in letters sent to Blue Ribbon Schools. The deadline for submitting applications was November 20.
The search committee's co-chairmen Susan Mercier and Laurie Halt said on Monday they took an initial look at the applications and plan to meet with the rest of the committee next week to choose candidates to invite for initial interviews, tentatively set for Jan. 21-23, 2008. The interview schedule will be publicized, the committee co-chairs said.
"When we sit down and look at the applications, we're looking for tried and true experience," said Ms. Halt. "We threw the net out, and got a lot of qualified candidates that applied, people with good, solid administrative backgrounds."
After the first round of interviews, the principal search committee will recommend finalists who will be interviewed by the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School school committee between February and March 2008. Public schools superintendent James Weiss will make the final decision and appoint a new principal in April or May.
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School Principal Margaret (Peg) Regan submitted her resignation to Mr. Weiss in late September, effective at the end of the school year. After nine years as principal, Ms. Regan said she decided to leave to have time to pursue other interests in the field of education.
The school committee agreed with Mr. Weiss's recommendation to form an in-house committee to find a new principal rather than paying a search firm. With a goal to start the process before Thanksgiving, Mr. Weiss and his staff put together an advertisement as well as a four-color school profile brochure to send to interested candidates.
In early November, Mr. Weiss recommended appointing Ms. Mercier, a Martha's Vineyard Regional High School committee member and chairman of the Edgartown School committee, and Ms. Halt, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, as the search committee co-chairs of the search committee. The committee also includes two students, plus two alternates, a teacher, a school adjustment counselor, a school advisory committee member, a parent, a selectman, an NAACP representative, and a Wampanoag Tribe representative. Ms. Mercier said the All-Island selectmen plan to appoint a representative this week.
"The students on the committee were chosen at random," Ms. Mercier explained. "It's nice to give a voice to all different kinds of kids." Ms. Halt added that any students who are interested are welcome to attend the search committee meetings and principal candidate interviews and give feedback.
"We really want community input and involvement," Ms. Mercier said. "The interviews will be open to the public, and we would like to get a lot of public participation."