VUHS begins search for interim principal
VERGENNES — A search committee is working already to find an interim principal to replace departing Vergennes Union High School Co-principal Ed Webbley, who resigned his post in mid-May after eight years at VUHS to take a similar position at The Danville School in Caledonia County.
At its regular meeting on Monday, its first since Webbley’s resignation, the VUHS board affirmed the decision to seek an interim rather than a full-time replacement.
Vice chairman Neil Kamman said it’s late in the school-hiring season to find a permanent replacement.
“Obviously, Ed’s departure was a little bit sudden,” Kamman said on Tuesday. “We’re in a position where it’s not the right time of the year to seek out a full-time principal.”
The board also wants to take its time and evaluate its leadership structure for the coming years. Current Co-principal Stephanie Taylor’s two immediate predecessors along with Webbley were the first VUHS co-principals. The co-principals have generally split duties along middle school-high school lines, with Webbley responsible for the upper grades.
Before then, the school worked with a principal and vice principal. Other schools have also chosen to hire deans of students rather than co-principals or vice principals. Some of these other avenues can be less expensive.
Kamman said “one person just cannot do all” the work that the VUHS co-principals have shared, and the board wants to take its time and evaluate all the alternatives. Board members, he said, also want to wait until incoming Addison Northwest Supervisory Union Superintendent JoAn Canning comes aboard in July before getting serious about studying the issue.
“Honestly, we want to have that conversation, and we want to have a good and open conversation about that,” Kamman said. “JoAn Canning starts on July 1, and she has a large influence on that.”
In the meantime, Kamman said a search committee of which he is a member and which is being led by Ferrisburgh Central School Principal JoAnn Taft-Blakely has already begun evaluating résumés. The board hopes to have an interim co-principal on the job in July.
“We’re moving relatively quickly so we can bring someone on to plan for the next school year,” Kamman said.
The other members of the search committee are VUHS special educator Beth Adreon, high school teachers Nancy Ambrose and Mark Powers, middle school teachers Ralph Bernadini and Matt Saraca, support staff member Michelle Chamberlain, principal’s secretary Rose Russett, guidance department member Tammie Johnson, board member George Gardner, VUHS parents Lynne Rapoport and Ingrid Peterson, and VUHS students Edward Haskell and Emma Husk.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected]
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