Amidst looking for a new mascot, navigating in-person and remote learning, school-wide calls for equity and more, the position of Lane principal holds a lot of importance at this moment. With that, the Lane Local School Council (LSC) said they are wasting no time preparing to choose the new top dog at Chicago’s largest high school, announcing at a Monday, May 10 meeting that June 23 will be the target date to announce the LSC’s choice for the next principal.
A week after Principal Tennison notified the Lane Community that he will be leaving his position as principal, Lane’s LSC held an emergency meeting last Monday to discuss their plan on hiring a new principal.
All principals serve on their school’s LSCs, but Tennison was not at Monday’s meeting. Katharine Gomez, a teacher representative, was also not at the meeting because she is on maternity leave. It was announced Gomez will help with the principal selection, even though she is on leave right now.
The meeting opened with Chairperson Emily Haite saying she has faith that the LSC will be able to hire a new principal by the end of June. June 30 will be Tennison’s final day as principal, and Haite said the goal is to not need to have an interim principal.
With no objections, the LSC voted that they would be the ones solely responsible, with no outside help, for interviewing and hiring the new principal.
Later in the meeting, Parent Representatives Laura Symons and Anne Lokken and Teacher Representative Daniel Law volunteered to come up with interview questions and the rubric for potential candidates.
The LSC will go into a closed session to discuss interview questions as well as Principal Tennison’s evaluation during the official May meeting on May 18 at 6:30 p.m. The interview process will be finalized in a closed session as part of a June 1 meeting.
An initial draft of the principal selection process was announced at the meeting as well, including target dates for the interviews, a forum and the announcement.
Following the June 1 meeting and closed session to finalize details on interviews and pick the candidates they want to interview, the first round of interviews will commence June 8 and likely go on the next day as well, though it will depend on the number of candidates.
The second round of interviews, tentatively planned for June 15, will either be held virtually or in the building, and the LSC hopes to narrow their selection down to three candidates.
The final two tentative dates for the LSC selection will be a candidate forum for the public slated for June 21 at 6:30, and the aforementioned June 23 meeting, where the LSC will finalize their decision and announce the choice. The new principal would take over at the start of July, following Tennison’s departure.
Before the selection process gets underway, people will be able to apply through CPS. Using previous templates from hiring selective enrollment principals, the LSC discussed the official job description and other duties that the principal would need to perform. Members offered edits to the original posting, making sure the position details were up to date to Lane’s equitable learning and modern education standards, and making sure to promote collaboration between the new principal Lane stakeholders.
With minor changes (mostly different wording to make the posting more clear), the LSC voted to submit the Lane principal position document, which went on the CPS principal vacancy list on May 12. Per CPS policy, the job posting will be up for two weeks.
Northside College Prep is also going through the hiring process for a new principal, and according to Haite, they had to post the job listing twice due to only getting single digit candidates the first time.
Haite said there’s a number of qualified candidates just looking at people who work at Lane, so she is confident that even if just those people apply, they won’t need to do the posting twice.
“I know that we have multiple people in the school who are eligible, so I feel confident that even if we just get the people who are eligible in the school, we have strong candidates, so I’m not concerned about having to stretch out that length and repost it again,” Haite said.