Principal Search Nearly Complete

WESTBROOK - The finalists have been weighed, and the Board of Education (BOE) had made its choice for high school principal.

"We identified two candidates for the high school principal position to move forward to be interviewed by the BOE at their board meeting," said Superintendent of Schools Pat Ciccone.

Chosen by the BOE to fill the high school principal position was Tara Winch of Old Saybrook. The board planned to officially appoint her to the post at its regular meeting of May 13 that occurred earlier this week.

Winch is now is serving as the assistant principal of Old Saybrook High School. She will fill the school administrator position that will be open at the end of the school year when current Principal Bob Hale retires after many long years of service.

As one of two finalists, Winch met with the Westbrook Board of Education last week for a final interview. Both principal finalists also had the chance to meet with Westbrook students during special high school site visits last month.

While visiting, each was interviewed by a panel of high school students. Following the interviews, the students then provided input on their impressions of the two potential principal candidates to the search committee.

Ciccone is optimistic that Winch will be able to start in her new post in Westbrook by July 1.

Second Search

Promising principal candidates were given second interviews by the second search committee last week. That committee is charged to find a new principal for Daisy Ingraham Elementary School. Current Principal Kit Bishop retires this year.

Nine candidates from the original pool were selected to enter the interview process.

The elementary school principal search committee conducted first interviews with these candidates in late April. Second interviews with those candidates deemed the best fit for Westbrook began last week.

Ciccone was hopeful that the Daisy Principal Search Committee would narrow its focus to one or two finalist by the end of last week. If they could, Ciccone planned to also bring forward those elementary school principal finalists to the board to interview.

If more time were needed to evaluate the candidates, Ciccone said the board would schedule a special meeting for a date later in May to appoint its preferred candidate to the elementary school principal position.

Editor's note: The Harbor News's May 8 Facebook post regarding Tara Winch's selection as Westbrook High School principal had at press time been shared 17 times and received numerous comments from the more than 1,200 people who viewed the post. The comments were a mix of congratulations for Winch and sorrow for Old Saybrook, which had twice passed her over as a possible principal for Old Saybrook High School. Get alerts to the latest news and weigh in by following the Harbor on Facebook at www.faceboook.com/harbornews.

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