Selected students interview new principal candidates

Selected students interview new principal candidates

Student participants gather and interview principal candidate Madelyn Ball. The third and unnamed candidate will be interviewed May 23.

Grace Kim, Managing Editor

Junior Scott Novak is missing class.

Novak, along with other students, will represent the student body as they interview the new principal candidates for next year.  During the school day, these students miss class in order to have the opportunity to meet and question the candidates during the student portion of the interviews.  Later on, there is a faculty interview session.

Seniors Allison Siegel and Allison Walczyk, juniors Scott Novak, Adam Kuester, Maria Edwards, Erin Cullinan, and Miranda Ripken, and sophomores Martha Schick and Caroline Haggerty comprised one of the two student groups scheduled to interview all three candidates.  Accompanying them were freshmen Dean of Students Sean Ireton, women’s Athletic Director Stephanie Maychack, and Campus Minister Patti Murphy-Dohn.

A teacher from a specific department of the school, such as theater, music, and athletics selected a student to represent that department. According to Maychack, President Richard O’Hara asked her to select students from Student Athletics Leadership “who were mature and well spoken.”  She selected Edwards and Haggerty as her students. Chorus director Dan Briggs approached Novak, Ripken, and Kuester to represent the music and theater department.

The first two candidates that have already been interviewed during the past week and a half are Madelyn Ball of The Catholic High of Baltimore and Mark Freund of St. Mark’s High School.  According to Murphy-Dohn, the third candidate is to be interviewed next week on Monday, May 23.

According to Kuester, when Ball was asked about theater involvement, “she responded very excitedly and positively, as she was with most of her responses. She seemed very genuine and pleasant.”

The interview was structured the same way every time. The candidate was introduced, the students introduced themselves, and they all grabbed refreshments and relaxed before beginning their interview questions. Each interview lasted about 50 minutes, and the faculty members let the students dominate the session.

Questions asked in both sessions ranged from those regarding policies on drug and alcohol abuse (on or off campus), past experiences with technology and dress code violations, and future hopes with working with the school. The students were also asked to try to direct questions that pertained to the department they were representing as well.

“It’s unexpected [that they would involve the students in the interview process], but it’s a good idea. If the students don’t like the principal, there could be people leaving [the school],” Cullinan said.

Novak shared Cullinan’s approval for the student involvement.  “I think it’s a brilliant idea because ultimately a principal’s success is measured in the student body’s reaction,” Novak said.

Grace Kim is a Managing Editor for “The Patriot” and jcpatriot.com