After principal McClure’s announcement of his resignation, students and district reflect on, set expectations for next principal
by Ella Koscher
On March 20, an email was sent to students and parents that was similar to an email former Principal Emilie Greenwald sent last May. This email announced that Principal Ryan McClure was leaving UAHS to take a job at the Ohio Department of Education after one year in his position.
While this news may have shocked some students, junior Audrey Berger does not see the change as much of a surprise. She and her fellow juniors have grown accustomed to this annual transition at the high school. To her, the announcements of both Greenwald’s and McClure’s resignation were “equally not surprising.”
“Throughout my whole school experience I think this will be my eighth new principal, so it’s not all that different to what I’m used to,” Berger said. “I wouldn’t say that having a new principal every year has been a negative thing, but it’s definitely interesting.”
Though Berger is used to transitioning to a new principal, she still has expectations and advice for the new member of the UAHS community.
“I expect the new principal to be personable and to be able to approach people well. A principal that’s easy to talk to whether it’s about school or just casually is always a lot better than one [who’s] seen only as an authoritative figure,” Berger said. “The advice I would give to the new principal for next year is to try and stick to as many traditions that UA already has, and not to try and change anything up too much.”
The district agrees with Berger, for it also hopes to find someone who will embrace the UA tradition and relate well with students. Upper Arlington Superintendent Paul Imhoff discussed his expectations for the next principal and what qualities he is looking for.
“It is very important for me for a person who is student centered… [and] I [also] want someone who’s going to come in here and is going to learn our culture, who’s really going to embrace Upper Arlington and take us from where we are and move us forward,” Imhoff said.
To find a person who fits this criteria, the district is currently conducting a thorough interview process for UAHS’ next Golden Bear. This process is currently underway, and is running differently than the process last year.
“Last time we had an abbreviated search process because it was late in the year when we had the opening because [that is when] Mrs. Greenwald got a promotion,” Imhoff said. “This year we have more time and so we have a different type of search….We’re also actively recruiting candidates from across Ohio and from this part of the country.”
Next week, the final round of interviews will be conducted with central office representatives. The district plans to make its final selection and announce its decision in mid-May.
Though both Berger and Imhoff find this shift to not necessarily be a negative change, the district—as it continues the interview process—hopes to find a principal who plans to be with UAHS for years to come.
“We want a principal who is going to be here a long time because that’s important to us,” Imhoff said. “…I think the students want that, I think the community wants that, that’s certainly important to me. We want someone who is going to be all in, who is going to be a Golden Bear.”