There are only two candidates still in the running for principal of the 2018-2019 school year as of May 7. Although the identity of one of the candidates is still confidential, the other candidate is current acting principal Adam Paulson.
“I’m excited to be considered, and if I do get the opportunity [to serve as principal] I would love to talk more,” Paulson said.
Following the resignation of Principal Kim Diorio, a committee tasked with creating a recommendation for the Palo Alto High School principal met in the District Office on May 4 to interview the initial principal candidate pool.
The Principal Review Committee consisted of four department heads, two classified staff, one counselor, two Site Council parent representatives, three other parents, Gunn Principal Kathy Lawrence, three district administrators and two students. In contrast to the process of selecting the district Superintendent, Human Resources of PAUSD decided to include students in this decision process. Senior and School Climate, Social Justice and Wellness Commissioner Claire Billman, applied to be on the interiew after it was brought to Associatie Student Body (ASB) and was approved.
“I have gone through the district hiring process before, so I felt qualified to [serve on the panel],” Billman said. “Additionally, after being at Paly for four years and having worked closely with admin I had a good understand of what students are looking for.”
The other student on the interview panel is senior Richy Islas, who is also the Palo Alto High School student Board representative.
According to Billman, before the interviews started, they received the notes from the parent, staff and student focus groups. The committee went over them and then the group was calibrated according to what people had said they wanted.
“Interviews for educational leaders are usually pretty intense. There usually are a large panel and they ask a lot of questions about leadership and the macro picture of education. Your vision, your goals you know those sorts of things. It’s hard to prepare for. It’s intense but also exciting at the same time.”
After much deliberation, the committee gave their recommendation to the new Superintendent, who will interview the finalists and make the decision.
According to Paulson, the principal decision should be finalized within the next couple of weeks.