is in search of not one, but two new elementary principals next year.
On Tuesday the Batavia School Board approved the following transfers:
- Lisa Palese, assistant director of student services, will become the Student Services Coordinator at .
- Melissa Kaczkowski, principal, will take Palese’s place in the district’s main office.
- Kelly Karnick, on a 10-month assignment as Rotolo’s Dean of Students, will become Rotolo’s Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction for a year.
- All changes are effective July 1, 2012. Any salary changes are to be announced.
District leaders began to discuss the principal selection process with staff and parents at J.B. Nelson and , the other Batavia school that will get a new principal this year.
Kaczkowski has been J.B. Nelson’s principal for six years.
“It will be hard to leave my team at JBN, but leading the elementary student services team is a very exciting opportunity,” Kaczkowski said in an online message to district residents.
Kaczkowski becomes the fourth Batavia elementary principal that will be in a new role for the next school year. Principals at , and Grace McWayne schools will also transfer.
remains the only Batavia elementary school that has not had a recent principal change. Jan Wright, former administrator in the district's main office, became principal . Former principal Christine Ralston stepped down after her husband’s job was transferred to Arkansas.
Why All The Changes?
Batavia Public Schools want to gear up for new state and federal mandates that will begin in the 2012-13 school year. The transfers are the best way to utilize the principal’s strengths for the initiatives, district officials said.
“The Board of Education and Superintendent (Jack) Barshinger understand that change is difficult, especially leadership changes,” an April 5 message to district residents said. “Batavia Public Schools are extremely fortunate to have the depth of leadership to support this change process.”
The Ideal School Principal
J.B. Nelson and Grace McWayne parents developed a profile for their ideal principal hire using the following questions from the district:
- 1. What personal qualities are essential for the new principal to possess?
- 2. What leadership traits do you want the new principal to have?
- 3. What are the preferred prior experiences and training for this principalship?
On March 21, Grace McWayne parents met and discussed these questions. Parents and J.B. Nelson staff attended separate meetings on April 18 to discuss what qualities they were looking for in the next principal. This is an incomplete list of traits one or both J.B. Nelson groups mentioned:
- Sense of Humor
- Good listener to everyone (stakeholders)
- Tactful candor, authentic
- Thorough, not assumptive
- Engaged in the school community
- Can make difficult decisions and explain WHY they were made
- Visible leader
- Clear delegation strategy
- Knowledgeable of best practices
- Equitable among all skill levels of students—challenging students at their level
- Will coach or mentor teachers
- Able to manage conflict
- Proactively anticipates needs of teachers and students
- Team-building strategy
- Recent classroom teaching experience
- Someone who has actually taught something at the elementary level
- Experience with diversity, including special populations
- RTI and PBIS experience, not learning on the job
- Scheduling/logistics of an elementary school
- Knows transportation
The Grace McWayne principal job posting that went up earlier this year listed Type 75 for required certification, with “prior experience as a building administrator strongly preferred.”
The posting mentioned the following duties and responsibilities:
- Continuous improvement of instruction
- Curriculum development
- Staff development
- Assessment of student progress
- Management of the building, the budget
- Maintenance of the facility and any co-curricular programs associated with the school
- Personnel supervision
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For more Batavia school updates, visit batavia.patch.com/school-news.