Students get a say in new principal


As principal Bitting retires, the hunt for a new principal begins. This leaves many wondering who will replace him, and how that person will be chosen. This choosing process has three steps, the first of which involves a student-led interview.

“Round 1 involves the student interview team, a parent interview team, and a teacher interview team.” said Principal Brandon Bitting, “afterward they will interview in front of the district admin team which is all the elementary principals, all the middle school’s Principals, and all the high school principals. Then they interview with the central office team, and finally, the candidates always meet with the school board.”

This is interesting because it gives a voice to the students that the students wouldn’t ordinarily have in this process. Even if the off chance that a school gives the students a voice in this process, it often doesn’t work the same way.

“I’ve been in interviews where it has the parents and the teachers and the students all in the same room,” said Bitting,  “and it just doesn’t have the same feel.”

Not only this, but the student group is almost entirely controlled by the students themselves, giving for a more personalized interview.

“Our student group is led by the students,” said Bitting, “ it’s the students’ questions that they want to ask. It’s completely up to them to run that  portion of the interview process.”

One student that has previously been a part of this group mentions how the students come up with these essential questions.

“We got together and formulated what we wanted from a principal,” said Junior Kirsten Lee, “and engineered questions off of that”.

Lee also describes why it is so essential to the process that students get a strong say in who the next administrator should be.

“Administrators are here to make sure that everything’s okay and safe, and functions properly,” said Lee, “ but students are who it’s all about.”

While the students are clearly glad to have an opportunity to voice their opinions, what do the candidates feel about this process?

“ When I first got hired into Northwest Allen as an assistant principal I went through this process, and looking back I enjoyed the process myself.” said Bitting, “It was a good process from a candidate’s side because it allowed me an opportunity to get to know the students and teachers and  the parents, and those are the three critical stakeholders.”

This program has been going on at Carroll for a long time, and because of this many wonder what will happen as the program continues.

“I think in the past 10-ish years they have perfected the system. I think it’s a great system,” said Lee, “and it has been working well, so it would be good if they were to continue to use it.”

Overall this program helps both students and candidates alike in making sure that the new administration is right for the Carroll community, by giving the students a voice,  and the school plans to continue this practice into the future.

“I’m thankful that the program has been developed,” said Lee, “ and I think it is critical for the student body to give their voice.”

And as for who the new principal will be, only time will tell.