Principal finalists introduced next week

ARLINGTON — A month after Arlington Memorial Middle and High School Principal Tim Stewart unexpectedly announced his retirement, the Arlington School Board is taking steps toward naming his replacement.

On Monday, the candidates will be interviewed by a screening committee and a finalist will be recommended to the school board. At 5 p.m. Tuesday, the school board will host a community meet-and-greet in the school library. At 6 p.m., it will convene for a board meeting, during which the will enter executive session to discuss the hiring and take action on whether or not to hire the proposed finalist.

Superintendent William Bazyk said that if a good match is not found, the position will be reposted. Bazyk said that the market for principals is very competitive at the moment, with good candidates having several schools to choose from. If one of the candidates is a good fit for Arlington, he said, the school wants to act decisively to bring that person into the fold. Bazyk said that the hiring process was not designed with a single candidate in mind.

Stewart announced in late January that he was stepping down from the principal's position, which he has held since July 2015, at the end of the school year to return to classroom teaching.

The school's principal selection process began with a community survey, which was posted from Feb. 2 to 16.

"We looked at the results of the survey, but really never put them in a format to present to the public," said Bazyk. "However, the main themes were a person with good communication skills and a person willing to invest in AMHS for a substantial tenure."

The screening committee that selected which applicants would be interviewed was made up of Bazyk, special education teacher and team leader Rachel Boisvert, school board member Matt Bykowski, teacher Marshall Cross, parent Matt Granger, Fisher Elementary School Principal Deanne Lacoste, school media specialist Megan Maguire, parent Jennifer Moses, parent Stacey Staab, teacher Anne Sulzmann and an AMHS student.

"I have enjoyed serving in as an administrator of Arlington Memorial High School," wrote Stewart in a letter of resignation addressed to the school board that was delivered last month. "Seven years ago, AMHS Principal Kerry Csizmesia asked me to step aside from full-time teaching and help them as athletic director, which I accepted without question. Three years ago I was named principal of AMHS and I have been honored to serve this school and community. At the end of this school year, I will make plans to return to the classroom once again as a full-time member of the AMHS faculty."

"My primary concern has been, and will continue to be, what is best for our students," he continued. "I have spent hours counseling students through my work as a teacher, principal, and coach, and I know this time was necessary and important. I am not alone in this commitment. We have a dedicated and caring group of faculty and staff who arrive each day concerned about how they can best meet the needs of AMHS students. As a teacher I appreciated them as colleagues, as a principal I was impressed by their quality of teaching and their contributions outside of the classroom. The role of a principal is vast and varied, and after 31 years in this district I never truly understood all that this role required until I stepped into those shoes. I appreciate the support that my mentor principal and members of the school board have given me."

"From now until graduation I will work with the board and AMHS faculty and staff to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students," he said. "I am happy to begin this next phase of my educational journey."

Derek Carson can be reached at, at @DerekCarsonBB on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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