Chautauqua Elementary principal candidates to be screened

The search for a new principal at Chautauqua Elementary School is well under way, with applications due today and preliminary screening of candidates tomorrow.

Within weeks, a search committee will choose finalists for the position and interview them, ultimately selecting a first-choice candidate to recommend to the school board on Thursday, March 25.

“My ideal candidate is someone who has demonstrated experience as an excellent teacher and demonstrated experience as an excellent principal,” said Vashon Island School District Superintendent Michael Soltman, who is a member of the community committee that will review applications for the principal position this week.

The position pays a salary of $83,272 to $96,891.

Also on the committee with Soltman are parents, Chautauqua teachers and staff, school district staff, McMurray principal Greg Allison and school board member Dan Chasan.

The committee is charged with reviewing all applications — Soltman said he expects about 20 — and selecting four to six finalists who will be interviewed on March 22 and 23. Parents are welcome to the afternoon interviews, which will begin at 3:40 p.m. both days.

“We’ve identified the criteria we’re looking for and will screen our applicants against that criteria,” Soltman said.

He said he anticipates a strong pool of qualified applicants because the vacancy was posted early in the year.

“I’m optimistic we’re going to have somebody who’s well qualified and a good fit,” he said. “There’s always a lot of excitement around these searches, and we have a great committee working on it.”

Chautauqua’s current principal, Kate Baehr, will not return to the school next year for family reasons.

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