By: Saleha Abdou, Warisha Aziz, Helen Camacho, Fey Falodun, and David Ponce (Senn Students)
Senn will host a principal candidate forum tonight in the North Gymnasium from 6-8 p.m. featuring the two candidates vying for the leadership role left bare through the first quarter of the school year.
The two candidates will speak and answer questions from the Senn community. Attendees must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
One candidate, Dr. Nicholas Aquino, comes from Juarez High School, where he has served as an assistant principal.
Dr. Tyrese Graham, the current principal of Uplift Community High School, is the second candidate.
With Senn High School getting back to normal, the school council is looking to seal the deal and select a new principal in the coming weeks.
As a result of Senn High School not having an official principal, the school has a stand-in principal, Kathleen Bandolik. “My daily job is to make sure teachers have what they need to have, what they need, and that the building is operational,” Bandolik said. “We seem to be attaining our goals at this point.”
Needing a new leader for Senn High School, the local school council (LSC) reviewed the applicants’ resumes. The applicants’ resumes are sent to LSC where there are currently 12 members, of which 11 will be voting. At this moment they have two official finalists.
The LSC was in charge of reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and doing a first-round interview. Normally the LSC is the group of people who select the principal, however, this time Senn students are able to voice their opinions as well.
Ms. Boatman, the Climate and Culture Coordinator at Senn said, “Essentially, you are going to have a say in who you think is the best next principal for Senn High School, which I think is unique, and we should definitely take advantage of it.”
Prior to this transition, Mary Beck had been the principal of Senn High school since 2015. She left after accepting the new position of Deputy Chief of Teaching and Learning for Chicago Public Schools in her goodbye letter on August 4th.
Beck made an impact on Senn by increasing IB and AP studies for more students to participate and educate themselves further.
With her departure, the committee is now looking for candidates that have a principal certificate, type 73 school counselor certificate, type 75 administrative certificate, a degree from an accredited university, and experience.
“Our LSC can say they need to have already been a principal or an assistant principal or as some sort of an administrative number of administrative years in order to apply,” Boatman said.
Recently, some progress has been made on finding a potential replacement who meets these criteria.
Michael Meadows, a teacher and member of the LSC, said, “We want to make sure that candidates have time to tell the people they need to tell before we sort of spill the news. So we want to get them to share the news and then we’ll be able to read the names and like short biographies.”
Both students and teachers are excitedly waiting for the announcement as they have missed this school leadership.
“I just think that every athletic team needs a coach, and that the principal is our coach,” Boatman said. “We need our coach on duty.”