Stamford Public Schools (SPS) held a first-of-its kind parent forum Wednesday, March 29, 2017, to solicit feedback on the qualities and characteristics desired in a new principal for Westhill High School (WHS). Earlier this month, WHS Principal Camille Figluizzi announced her retirement, effective July 1, 2017. Figluizzi has been with the district for 38 years and has been principal at WHS for the past 18 years.
Some 30 parents and interested community members attended the session held in the WHS library. Executive Director Human Resources Dr. Stephen Falcone and Assistant Superintendent—Secondary Dr. Michael Fernandes led an activity to gather input from those in attendance.
“The district recognizes that choosing a principal for the largest high school in our growing city is critically important not only for the continued success of our students but also for the commitment and effectiveness of our staff,” said SPS Superintendent Earl Kim. “We are committed to listening to our stakeholders and sharing their input with the selection committee.”
The comprehensive and inclusive process for selecting a principal for WHS is underway. In addition to the parent session, the district held a teacher feedback session on March 15 and will gather feedback from students on April 1.
The opening was posted from February 27 through March 27, 2017, on the district’s website and with several Connecticut Education-focused organizations, as well as on two national on-line search engines. SPS received 32 total applications with applicants from as far west as Arizona and as far south as Georgia. A screening committee has narrowed down the number of eligible applicants to 16.
“It is our expectation that the comprehensive selection process, upon which the district has embarked, will identify a candidate, or candidates, who meet our criteria and will be a good fit for our school community,” said SPS Board of Education (BOE) President Geoff Alswanger.
The first round of interviews, which are scheduled to be held on April 3 and 4, will be conducted by a selection committee comprised of two WHS parents, three Stamford Education Association (SEA) representatives, a paraeducator, a secondary administrator, a Central Office administrator, a secondary teacher on special assignment and a community member.
The second round of interviews, which will be held on or about April 7, will be comprised of two WHS parents, five SEA representatives, a Central Office administrator, a secondary administrator, a special education representative and a community member.
The third round interviews, which will be held on or about April 17, are to be conducted by the two assistant superintendents. There are final meetings with the superintendent and with the BOE.
It is expected that the BOE will vote on the candidate at its April regular BOE scheduled for April 25, 2017.