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Search halted for new Arlington High School principal

Posted by Brock Parker  February 17, 2012 02:29 PM

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Superintendent of Schools Kathleen Bodie has shut down the search for a new Arlington High School principal after a search committee was unable to select three finalists for the job.

Bodie said today that the school district will re-open the principal search during the 2012-2013 school year, and in the meantime Mary Villano, the interim principal at the school, has agreed to serve another year on the job.

While the school district had “quite a few” candidates apply for the principal job, Bodie said the search committee was unable to send her a list of three finalists. She said the market for high school principals is tight and very competitive right now, and even when there are a number of candidates vying for a single position there is often a question of whether they are the right fit.

Arlington advertised the high school principal position from December through January, but Bodie said that because of the current market for school administrators she is likely to begin advertising the job beginning in November this year instead of waiting until December.

Villano has worked at the high school for more than 30 years and had been assistant principal last year when Principal Charlie Skidmore retired.

As the interim principal, Villano called a moratorium on dances at the high school last fall because she said a number of students were drinking and dancing inappropriately by “grinding” on each other during the school events. Villano lifted the ban on dances last week after setting new rules, including a requirement that students must remain “upright” while they dance.

Bodie said she believes asking Villano to serve another year as interim principal is the right thing for the high school until a permanent replacement can be found.

“She’s tackled some tough issues,” Bodie said.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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