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Strong leader sought for SHS

KEYSTONE – Summit School Board members are looking for a new high school principal capable of leading the school through change.That assessment emerged Tuesday when superintendent Millie Hamner polled the elected officials on the qualities she should recruit for the next Summit High principal.Current principal Frank Mencin is retiring.Hamner’s own priority list places the hiring at the top.”I want a visionary, not somebody who looks at minutia like how many are in a study hall,” said board president Kristy Johnson. She said her concern is, “What is the big picture, long term, for this community, for this school.”Johnson said the new principal should be able to move groups of people forward who are not initially on board with new ideas.She also said the new principal should not be a “top-down dictator.”Member Bob Bowers said the new principal should be a “real leader … not a manager.”He also suggested the new hire be a person who can “adapt” to life in Summit County.Member Stuart Adams said the new recruit for the Farmer’s Korner campus should have a “breadth of experience” among varying high school concepts, including career education.”The person should be somebody willing to take risks,” Adams said.Hamner added the new principal should have been involved in some kind of high school reform program.Hearing these comments, member Jay Brunvand said, “Let’s be careful of what we are asking for. It could be a little like asking for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.””Throwing out everything and starting over again is not what we are saying,” Brunvand said.A consensus about the hire is that he or she should be somebody neither too young nor on the verge of retirement – and prepared to commit for the long haul.Hamner is reviewing hiring priorities with high school interest groups that include teachers, students, support staff and parents.She said some have expressed a lot of support for assistant principal Jim Hesse to ascend to the top spot and wondered why there should be a recruiting process.Hamner said her reply was a recruiting process would validate Hesse’s candidacy. Hesse had said earlier he was interested in the vacancy.Recruitment ads will appear in December and close on Jan. 4.


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