• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Southside council wants to select new principal by late-June

Southside Elementary School’s site-based decision-making council has a goal of selecting a new principal by the third week of June, schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins said. If the new principal starts by July 1 (as anticipated), that will give Jason McAllister’s successor five weeks before next school year, Hawkins said. McAllister said he has accepted an offer to become chief academic officer for Mercer County Schools. Hawkins credited McAllister for doing “a great job” four years ago in helping over 100 new students (and their parents) transition to Southside after elementary school redistricting occurred. Also, he applauded McAllister’s leadership in helping to ensure every student got the help they needed to become more successful in the classroom during WIN (What I Need) Time. “He’s done some really good things while he’s been there (at Southside). And so I’m very pleased with his performance and certainly happy for him in terms of his next step in his journey,” said Hawkins. He said Southside Elementary’s council met twice last week to discuss the principal selection process and to receive training. The council will now solicit feedback through surveys from teachers, parents and staff to gather input on the qualities and characteristics that they want in their next principal. From there, the council will formulate questions before interviewing principal candidates, who are screened by district staff, Hawkins said. While he acknowledged there’s an overall trend of fewer applicants for open positions in public education across Kentucky, Hawkins said he’s always hopeful and optimistic the district will get a strong pool of candidates to apply for openings in Woodford County Public Schools. “Southside has been a high-performing school for a number of years. It’s a great school. It’s a great place to work. You’ve got a great staff there, very supportive parents. And we’ve traditionally been a very high-performing district. And so hopefully that will be very attractive to people who wish to be an elementary school principal,” Hawkins said. He said any time a school gets a new leader there’s always a renewed energy and a fresh perspective on areas of growth and improvement. Like the other schools in the district, he said Southside is not in need of a turnaround.

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