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Flawed process / June 04, 2009
Dear Viewpoint:

The hiring process that resulted in the selection of an unlicensed and under-qualified candidate for the Halifax County Middle School principalship is puzzling to this retired Halifax County school teacher and coach.

Why was the school board not aware that the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and interview committee selected a candidate who does not hold a Virginia Postgraduate Professional License with middle school principal endorsement, which is one of the qualifications listed in the Personnel Vacancy Announcement for this position?

Why was a fully-licensed and better-qualified candidate, one who meets every requirement listed in the vacancy announcement and then some, denied the position in favor of an unlicensed, less-qualified candidate who is rumored to be retiring within the next three years?

We don’t trust our children to unlicensed bus drivers, so why would we trust the administration of their education to unlicensed principals? The candidate that is fully-licensed, has extensive experience in middle school curriculum and instruction, and is committed to the school system for the long term is obviously the best choice as the next Halifax County Middle School principal.

It seems that the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and interview committee are not interested in what is best for Halifax County’s middle school students.

Sincerely, Jim Barczak

Editor’s Note: Contacted for a response to Mr. Barczak’s letter, Deputy School Superintendent Larry Clark said Beverly Crowder, incoming principal at HCMS, is “totally qualified” for the position. Clark explained that in years past, the Virginia Department of Education made grade level endorsements for principals, including at the elementary and secondary school levels. However, several years ago, Clark said, DOE dropped those grade level endorsements in favor of an “umbrella” endorsement for all administrators and supervisors in grades pre-K through 12. Crowder has such an umbrella endorsement, he said, making the issue of a middle school endorsement moot. Clark also noted that Mrs. Crowder holds a post-graduate professional license which makes her “highly qualified” for the position of Middle School principal.

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