Mascenic School District

Few candidates, little time to make hire

GREENVILLE — With the start of school just weeks away, the Mascenic School District currently has just one candidate to fill the position of assistant principal at the Highbridge Hill Elementary School.

School Board Vice Chair Tara Sousa said at a School Board meeting Monday that she is concerned about the lack of choice.

“That’s a concern, only having one person,” she told Highbridge Hill Principal Marion Saari. “I would hope that if you don’t like that candidate and don’t feel it would work, that the job would be put back out.” Sousa added that even if the remaining candidate felt like a good fit, she would have preferred to have multiple candidates to consider.

Saari told the board that initially there were a fair amount of choices, with 25 people submitting applications for the position. Over half of those were eliminated early in the process, though, as 12 had no administrative experience, and another four had applied for positions previously and had been turned down for various reasons. The community search committee charged with narrowing the field of applicants eventually whittled the field to three potential candidates. But one of them had accepted a job in another district, and another was eliminated after a interview with the committee, Saari said.

Superintendent Ruthann Goguen said that August is a time when there is a lot of turnover in school administrators, and she hopes to attract a few more applicants before the school year starts. The first day of school for the Mascenic School District is currently scheduled for Aug. 28.

During School Board meetings earlier this summer, the board considered the option of whether the Assistant Principal position at Highbridge Hill was necessary, following the resignation of the Linda Kalloger from the position on July 1. The board voted to keep the position, but reduce it from a year-round job to a 190-day position. That would include the entire school year, plus an additional two weeks.

The position states the responsibilities of the new assistant principal will include curriculum development, supervision and evaluation of staff, student assessment, monitoring of student progress and communications and community relations.

The School Board is scheduled to meet on Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Mascenic Education Center in Greenville.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or She’s on Twitter at @AshleySaari.

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