Principal search down to 3

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Education > Finalists to interview in Los Alamos March 24

By Tris DeRoma

First there were nine, and now there are three. According to Assistant Superintendent Gerry Washburn, the parent-teacher committee as well as the student committee have picked their top three candidates for high school principal. They are: Deborah Belew-Nyquist, Silverdale, Wash.; Callie Jacobs, Woodbury, Minn., and Michael Johnson, currently an assistant principal at Los Alamos High School.
The candidates will be interviewed for the job again March 24. They will then be interviewed by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gene Schmidt. That evening, in the high school’s Speech Theater at 6 p.m., each candidate will make a presentation to the public, where they will explain their educational vision and philosophy.
Residents who are who are still interested in serving on the final parent-teacher selection committee can contact Washburn at g.washburn@lachools.net. If residents would like to submit questions to the panel, you can also submit questions for the panel to ask.
“The school district encourages everyone to be involved in this process as we select our next high school principal,” Washburn said through a press release.
In the release, Washburn also included a brief biography of the candidates:
Belew-Nyquist has 14 years of administrative experience and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is currently serving as an Educational Consultant for the International Education Director, Children of Nations in Port Orchard, Wash.
Jacobs has six years of administrative experience and is completing her Education Specialists degree in educational leadership. She is currently the Superintendent (Director) of the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in St. Paul, Minn.
Johnson has seven years of administrative experience and has completed an Educational Specialist’s Certificate in Educational Leadership. He is currently the assistant principal at Los Alamos High School.
Washburn said once reference and background checks are completed, they will probably make an offer to the selected candidate between March 28 and March 30.
“Depending on if they accepted, we will then make an announcement to the public sometime before April 4,” Washburn said.
Whoever is selected for the job will be replacing current principal Sandra Warnock. She announced her retirement Jan 22 during a meeting with her staff.
During her four and a half years as principal, Warnock led the school to two “A” grades under the New Mexico Public Education Department’s new evaluation format.
Under her leadership, Los Alamos High School was the first high school to achieve national recognition of the AP Honor Roll for Warnock’s expansion of the school’s dual credit and Advanced Placement program through “Saturday School.” The school also received favorable reviews in U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek and the Washington Post while Warnock was principal there.