ConVal considers hiring consultant to assist with principal replacement

  • ConVal school board members met Tuesday. Staff photo by Abby Kessler

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, February 17, 2017

ConVal’s school board is considering a paid consultant to assist in the replacement of the high school’s principal.

“It depends on how much it will be,” said chair of the school board Myron Steere after the meeting on Wednesday. “Somebody could come in and say we want $200,000, but we don’t want to accept that.”

The board voted to put out a request for proposal Tuesday. At the meeting, some said a consultant could cost in the neighborhood of $20,000 to $30,000, although those are only estimates. Steere said the district is trying to keep its budget to a minimum.

The discussion comes after ConVal high school’s former principal Brian Pickering went on leave in late December. On Dec. 29, the district announced in a press release that Pickering would take an early retirement, citing health-related issues.

The announcement left Dean of Faculty Gib West to serve as principal until a replacement has been found. At the meeting on Tuesday, West said the transition has gone relatively smoothly, although they are down a faculty member, which has shifted responsibilities around a little bit.

Superintendent Kim Saunders told board members the SAU could complete the work in-house, but administrators are already stretched thin and could use the assistance.

“What is the advantage of having an outside consultant come and do what ultimately what we are capable of doing?” said Dick Dunning, a school board member from Peterborough.

Tim Markley, who is ConVal’s director of human resources, said there are advantages of hiring a consultant.

“This is what consultants do, they are able to tap into people who aren’t necessarily looking for a job, but people who might already have a job. They can seek out candidates who are already doing a good job,” Markley said.

He said consultants are also able to cast a wider net than simply advertising on a job site or in a newspaper. They also perform pre-screenings of the candidates and hand over 10 to 15 of its top names for the district to evaluate.

With approval from the board, Saunders said, the request will be sent out “as quick as humanly possible,” noting that the district is already a little behind where it should be in the hiring process if it wants to meet its goal of hiring someone by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

The board should have bids within a week or two, she said, at which point it will have a better understanding of what avenue the district will pursue.

TES teacher principal position remains intact

The board unanimously approved keeping a teaching principal at Temple Elementary School.

An announcement regarding the retirement of the school’s current teaching principal, Niki McGettigan, at the conclusion of the school year launched administrators into a discussion about possible alternatives.

After considering five separate models, Saunders said it was concluded that the current system was the best way to move forward.

School board members agreed, voting to keep the position in place.

The school board is scheduled to meet again Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.