Decision Close on Naming New Principal

By Adam Swift

Superintendent of Schools Lisa Howard is looking to make a decision soon on the selection of a new principal for the Gorman Fort Banks Elementary School.

Two finalists recently visited the school, stopping into classrooms and meeting with staff, teachers, and parents.

“The Principal Search Committee have completed their work, they have done surveys of staff in the buildings, as well as the parents who were at the meetings,” said Howard at Monday night’s School Committee meeting.

Howard said she was completing her final work in the process before announcing her choice for the next principal of the school. She said one of the important parts of the process is including current principal Ilene Pearson.

“I do think her vision for the future is critical,” said Howard. “I’d like to know from her directly how she sees the next leader of that building and what she thinks would be beneficial.”

Howard noted that the search process for the school was more intensive than most that have been done in the district over the past several years, since the district has promoted a lot of internal candidates.

Once Howard has made her determination on who she will choose as the next principal, she said she will speak with Pearson first, then let the School Committee and the Gorman Fort Banks community know about the selection.

“That has to be done in a pretty timely manner … when you let people know, because if you wait two seconds and it ends up on social media, then people get upset,” said Howard.

In other business, Howard told the committee she would be holding budget forums with school staff during the week, one at the elementary level and one at the secondary level.

“The purpose of that is to provide them with an update and a forecast of how I foresee the budget,” said Howard. She added that the administrative staff has been gathering information on the budget for several months in terms of the needs of each building, the departments, athletics, capital planning, and other needs.

“I am also doing it so I can get additional feedback,” said Howard. “We have done staff surveys and parent surveys and we are in the process of putting the results of those surveys together.”

The results of the parent and community surveys will be shared publicly on the school district website, she added.

“I also think it is important for staff to understand that as a key stakeholder in the building of the budget that their voice is being heard and that would be reflected in where we are at in the budget right now,” said Howard.

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