By Pierre D. Habel
November is a critical month in the work of Steering Committee. Per the D’Evelyn Founding Document, the hiring, evaluation, and, when necessary, dismissal of the Principal is one of the primary responsibilities of the Steering Committee, and the evaluation process steps into high gear this month. This is a year when Steering Committee will be overseeing the hiring of D’Evelyn’s permanent principal. Please read on to understand both Steering’s role in these critical tasks and to learn how community members play a key role in both processes.
Evaluation of our interim principal, Mr. Griffin is underway (following a process established in our Linkage Policies) with three essential components. In addition to the interactions of Mr. Griffin with the Jeffco Achievement Director Dan Cohan (our external liaison with the district), members of Steering Committee are occupied with gathering observational data to document Mr. Griffin’s actions and attributes in leading the school in keeping with his personal goals and school goals that align with D’Evelyn’s unique instructional program. Such data comes from evaluating the Principal’s communications and interactions with students, the parent community and staff, as well as in the focused contexts of his actions in curricular and hiring committees, work with Department Managers, and the abundant other settings where the Principal’s leadership sets the tone for the school. Using this observational data we will soon conduct a mid-year check-in with the Principal and Achievement Director. In spring semester, Steering also conducts a survey of our staff and families, giving them a crucial opportunity to share their perceptions of the Principal’s qualities and effectiveness. Please look for that survey by School Messenger in March, and be sure to let us hear your voice so that we can include it in the summary evaluation of the Principal in May.
As noted, hiring a permanent Principal is a concurrent concern of Steering Committee and the school. After reviewing our protocols for a rigorous and efficacious search, Steering is bringing opportunities to the community to have their say. D’Evelyn students, families and staff, as well as Dennison families, have already received an initial School Messenger with a link to our principal hiring survey inviting community contributions to the substance of our recruitment and interview efforts. An important in-person opportunity to make additional contributions will be provided to parents at the November Accountability Committee Meeting (5:30 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 14th in the LMC). Please come get involved in the Accountability Committee and take the opportunity to speak to us about the desired traits of our next permanent Principal. You’ll also learn how community members like you can take part in the hiring process.
Finally, let me note that the work of Steering Committee cannot be successful without dedicated staff and parents willing to serve the school. To foster a pool of ready applicants for Steering, we are holding a training for future candidates at 6:45 pm after the Accountability Committee indicated above. If you’re considering serving in this critical role next year or down the road, please attend so that you can learn the necessary steps to stand as a candidate. Whether you do so stand or not, you’ll surely learn a great deal about our school’s philosophy and structure, which are the sine qua non of our students’ success.
The Steering Committee is the governing board of the school and establishes policies designed to maintain and enhance its liberal arts philosophy. The Steering Committee appoints Directors to the Board of the D'Evelyn Education Foundation.