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Looney to Centennial parents: Decision on new principal will not be rushed

The superintendent of Williamson County schools told a gathering of about 50 parents Tuesday night that he will take as much time as necessary to hire Centennial High's next principal.

“We're not going to rush,” Dr. Mike Looney said. “I want to make sure we're deliberate and methodical. This school deserves a great principal for the next decade.”

Looney said he expects to post the advertisement for the vacancy by the end of next week, and could possibly have the position filled by the start of the second semester.

“We have some great internal candidates, and I'm sure there are some great external candidates,” he said. “Maybe we could be meeting your new principal by the beginning of next semester. But I am willing to be patient enough to get the right person.”

The vacancy abruptly opened Oct. 23, when Dr. Frank Brown resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct with a former student from McGavock High School. Looney named former Centennial Assistant Principal Sandra Joyner interim principal until the position could be filled permanently.

“I have confidence in [Joyner's] leadership ability and in her ability to calm the storm,” Looney said. “And I think right now it's really important to calm the storm.”

He also said that he will listen to suggestions from parents regarding the search for the new principal, but stressed that the decision is his to make.

“Send me a text message or call me, and we'll talk about the new principal,” Looney said. “I will listen to your ideas, but I will make the decision.”

The meeting was the first two open-forum gatherings titled “Lets Talk Schools” scheduled for this semester. The second will take place Nov. 1, 6-7:30 p.m., at Independence High School.

In a question-and-answer session with the audience, Looney said that there is little news to report on the anticipated vacancy of 6th District School Board's seat. Terry Leve, who has yet to officially resign, currently holds the post but he notified the board of his intent to do so before the end of the year to allow a suitable candidate to represent the district for the duration of his term.

Looney told the crowd that there is nothing yet to report because there is yet a vacancy to fill. However County Commissioner Jeff Ford for the 6th District and chairman of the committee to fill the expected vacancy, joined the superintendent at the front of the room, volunteered to the audience that there are 13 candidates for the position, and that it won't take long to fill the position once it becomes available.

“We anticipate in January; we have some great candidates,” Ford said, before handing the microphone back to the superintendent.

Looney fielded more than a dozen additional questions from the audience on topics including state contributions to the county's school budget, plans for a new auditorium at Centennial High, and the use of technologies in the classroom.



Posted on: 10/31/2012


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