DCSD searches for Whittell principal
If all goes well, Whittell High School will welcome a new principal to campus next school year.
Three candidates will be interviewed April 13 with hopes of becoming the next in a long line of predecessors.
The principal position has been filled four times since Dick Brownfield’s 16-year run ended in 1991.
Dave Sheets spent five years as principal following Brownfield’s reign. After Sheets came Larry Snyder, who spent two years at the high school. Next, longtime Whittell teacher Howard Bennett assumed the administrative position for one year before he retired in 2000. Brownfield returned to the school this year on a one-year interim basis to allow Douglas County School District officials the time necessary to search for a more permanent replacement.
As the end of the school year approaches, the pressure is on.
“It’s been our goal to find someone (long term) and that was one of the reasons I asked Dick (Brownfield) to come back, so we would have an additional year to find someone who could make a commitment to the school,” Douglas County School District Superintendent Pendery Clark said. “I’d like to see someone who could be there for at least five years. We need to have someone who can provide that continuity.”
The school district plans to implement a dean’s position at Whittell to take some responsibilities off the principal’s plate. Dean is a non-teaching role, but the person hired will deal with athletics, leadership activities and will assist the principal with disciplinary situations. The dean will not have administrative status and likely will be hired at a teacher’s salary. Clark did not say when the district plans to advertise the position.
The candidate hired as principal will receive a salary ranging from $60,000 to $76,000 depending on experience and qualifications.
“And when you consider we don’t have state income tax and we have a 100 percent employer-paid retirement plan so nothing comes out of our employees’ checks for retirement, it does mean more money you take home on your paycheck,” Clark said.
The district originally received nine applicants for the job. An extensive screening process left three viable candidates for interview. Clark said none of the interviewees are from within the school district.
“Our commitment is to try to find the right person for Whittell and we’re willing to put in whatever time or effort it takes to do that,” Clark said.
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